Elbow Injuries and Treatment

If you’re an athlete who takes part in sports that involve a lot of repetitive overhead throwing or similar motion—pitching, tennis, volleyball or swimming, for example—you’re at particular risk of elbow injuries.

Fortunately, the orthopedic surgeons at Adventist Health Orthopedic Clinic have the experience and training you need to effectively diagnose and treat virtually any elbow condition, from the routine to the most complex.

Types of elbow injuries

Among the most common elbow injuries are:

  • Tendinitis of the elbow—Inflammation or injury to the tendons that attach muscle to bone; while this is usually a sports injury, it can result from any type of overuse or repetitive motion
  • Sprains and strains
  • Traumatic injuries including fractures
  • Dislocations

Other causes of elbow pain

Other problems can affect the elbow, causing pain. These include:

  • Bursitis (inflammation or irritation of the small fluid-filled sacs that serve as cushions between tendons, bones and skin)
  • Osteoarthritis (the most common type of arthritis, causing cartilage in your joints to wear away over time)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (painful swelling of the joints that can cause deformity and immobility)
  • Psoriatic arthritis (pain or swelling of the joints in people with the chronic skin condition called psoriasis)

How are elbow injuries treated?

Treatment depends the cause of your elbow injury, and may range from conservative, non-surgical therapies to today’s most advanced, minimally invasive surgical options:

  • Physical and occupational therapy—After an injury and/or surgery, you may need physical therapy to regain full strength and function. Your orthopedic specialist will work closely with your physical therapist to prepare a personalized physical rehabilitation treatment program tailored to your unique needs.
  • Elbow braces and straps that provide support for such injuries as tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow
  • Tendon repair—there are two general types of tendon repair:
    • Tendon debridement—In this procedure, commonly used for managing tendinitis, the surgeon removes any damaged tissue from the tendon
    • Tendon release—The most commonly used surgery for tendon repair; the surgeon splits the damaged tendon as well as removes the scar tissues or other overgrowth around the tendon.
  • Ligament reconstruction—In this advanced surgical procedure, the surgeon replaces the injured ligament with a tendon taken from somewhere else in the patient’s body
  • Elbow replacement surgery (arthroplasty)—The damaged parts of the elbow are replaced with artificial components
  • Fracture repair—This surgery is performed to replace and stabilize or remove bone fragments

If you need elbow surgery, it’s important to know that most elbow surgeries at Aspire Orthopedic Institute are performed minimally invasively using arthroscopy, so patients experience less blood loss, smaller incisions, faster recovery and less pain.

Want to learn more about treatments for elbow injuries at Adventist Health Orthopedic Clinic?

Simply call us to schedule an appointment at the location that’s most convenient for you at Portland: (503) 261-6961.