Elbow Pain Specialist

Valley Orthopedic Institute

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons & Hand Surgeons located in Palmdale, CA & Ridgecrest, CA

Whether your elbow pain suddenly begins after a fall, or the pain and stiffness slowly build up, Anand Shah, MD, Mehul Taylor, MD, and the team at Valley Orthopedic Institute can help you find relief and heal. From physical therapy and conservative treatments to regenerative medicine and arthroscopic surgery, you receive all of the care you need to overcome your pain and regain elbow function. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Palmdale or Ridgecrest, California, or use the online booking feature today.

Elbow Pain Q & A

What causes elbow pain? 

Elbow pain occurs when you suffer an injury that breaks a bone, dislocates the elbow joint, or tears ligaments or tendons. Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and bursitis also cause elbow pain. 

However, overuse injuries represent the most common causes of elbow pain. This type of injury develops over time as you frequently repeat the same movements. If you don't rest your elbow, the repetitive stress results in muscle, tendon, and ligament tears. 

The most common overuse injuries include:

  • Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  • Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
  • Ulnar nerve entrapment
  • Flexor tendonitis
  • Ulnar neuritis
  • Ulnar collateral ligament injury
  • Valgus extension overload
  • Olecranon stress fracture

 

Though valgus extension overload is known as pitcher's elbow, the last five injuries on this list commonly occur in pitchers and other throwing athletes. The ongoing stress of overhead arm movement combined with the force of throwing overworks the elbow and its supporting muscles.

What symptoms accompany elbow pain?

The conditions responsible for your elbow pain usually cause additional symptoms such as: 

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Joint locking
  • Joint stiffness
  • Weak grip
  • Limited elbow movement
  • Loss of arm strength
  • Restricted arm and wrist movement

 

You should schedule an evaluation at Valley Orthopedic Institute when you have sudden or severe pain, swelling, or bruising, or your symptoms don't improve in a few days.  

How is elbow pain treated? 

The treatment you need depends on the cause of your elbow pain and the severity of your symptoms. A fracture may need prompt surgery to reset and stabilize the bones.

Otherwise, treatment begins with nonsurgical care. For example, you may need to rest your elbow, wear a brace, or change your activities to avoid stressful movement. 

Nearly everyone with an elbow injury benefits from physical therapy. Your therapy begins with gentle exercises to restore movement. As your injuries heal, your physical therapy ramps up to restore strength and function and rehabilitate your elbow for a return to sports and work activities. 

Your provider may also recommend injections containing steroids or platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Steroids are powerful anti-inflammatory agents, while PRP naturally accelerates healing.

When does elbow pain need surgery? 

If your elbow pain persists after nonsurgical treatments or you had severe pain from the start, your Valley Orthopedic Institute provider performs minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. They make a small incision and insert the narrow scope. 

A video camera inside the scope sends magnified images to a monitor. Your provider uses the images to examine the tissues inside the elbow joint. If needed, they also perform surgery to repair damaged tissues. 

When arthritis or a serious fracture causes significant elbow joint damage, the team at Valley Orthopedic Institute recommends a total joint replacement. 

If you need help for elbow pain, call Valley Orthopedic Institute or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment today.