Elbow injuries are common among athletes and individuals who perform repetitive activities that place stress on the elbow joint. The elbow is a complex joint that allows for a wide range of movement, and it is vulnerable to a variety of injuries. Some of the most common elbow injuries include tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, elbow sprains, and elbow fractures.
Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that causes pain and inflammation on the outer part of the elbow. This injury is common among tennis players, but it can also occur in individuals who perform activities that involve repetitive gripping and twisting of the wrist. The injury is caused by small tears in the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle on the outer part of the elbow.
Tennis elbow causes pain and tenderness on the outer part of the elbow, weakness in the forearm, and difficulty gripping objects. Treatments for tennis elbow typically start with RICE Therapy (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) physical therapy, and pain medication. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged tendons. At Garden State Pain and Orthopedics we offer minimally invasive treatments including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and certain injections to assist in a speedy recovery.
Golfer's elbow is also known as medial epicondylitis. Opposed to tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow is a condition that causes pain and inflammation on the inner part of the elbow. This injury is common among golfers, but it can also occur in individuals who also perform activities that involve repetitive gripping and bending of the wrist, in a swinging type motion. The injury is caused by small tears in the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle of the inner part of the elbow.
Fun Fact: Many of our providers love to play golf. Pictured below is Garden State Pain and Orthopedics' Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Deepan Patel.
Symptoms of golfer's elbow include pain and tenderness on the inner part of the elbow and weakness of the impacted arm. You may also experience difficulty gripping objects like your golf club. Treatments for golfer's elbow mirror those of tennis elbow. RICE therapy, physical therapy and minimally invasive treatments like PRP therapy and injections can all be used to treat golfer’s elbow. In more serious cases reconstructive surgery may need to be performed.
An elbow sprain occurs when the ligaments that connect the bones in the elbow joint are stretched or torn. This injury can occur as a result of a fall, a direct blow to the elbow, or a sudden twist of the arm. Spraining your elbow causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the elbow, as well as difficulty moving the arm. Most elbow sprains will resolve themselves over time, but RICE Therapy and physical therapy can help expedite recovery. However it is important to note, it is always best to see a doctor to make sure none of the bones in your elbow are broken.
An elbow fracture occurs when one or more of the bones in the elbow joint are broken. This injury usually occurs as a result of a fall, a direct blow to the elbow during a sporting event or car accident, or a sudden twist of the arm. Fractures cause pain, swelling, and bruising in the elbow, as well as difficulty moving the arm. To further diagnose elbow fractures, mobility and imaging tests are performed to develop a rehabilitation plan.
Treatment for an elbow fracture typically depends on the severity and location of the fracture. In some cases, a brace, cast, or splint accompanied by a sling will be used to immobilize the arm and allow the bone to heal. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to realign the bones and secure them.
How to prevent elbow injuries:
At Garden State Pain and Orthopedics, our specialists can answer any elbow related questions you have. If you are experiencing elbow pain please feel welcome to select the “Book Now” button to schedule an appointment. To read more about our treatments please visit our services page.