The elbow and forearm form a functional unit whose primary role is to accurately position the hand in space. View Page
An elbow contusion results from blunt direct trauma and produces muscle strains and ligament sprains. View Page
Fractures about the elbow are the result of high energy injuries. View Page
Compartment syndrome in all extremities is an orthopedic emergency. View Page
Wounds occurring in the forearm and elbow must be treated as an emergency because the risk of infection if left open increases about 7 hours after an injury has occurred. View Page
Arthritis in the elbow can occur after an injury (post-traumatic arthritis), congenital lack of blood supply to the bone causing flaking off of the cartilage called Osteochondritis Dessicans. View Page
Cubital tunnel syndrome is the compression of the ulnar nerve at the level of the elbow. View Page
Pronator syndrome is the compression of the median nerve around the elbow and palmar side of the forearm. Because it is the same nerve that causes carpal tunnel syndrome, there is overlap in the symptoms making the diagnosis difficult, at times. View Page
Radial tunnel syndrome and posterior Interosseous Nerve palsy are both a result of compression of the Posterior interosseous nerve with a more severe compression occurring in posterior interosseous nerve palsy. View Page
Lateral epicondyltis also called tennis elbow and medial epicondylitis called golfers elbow is a condition affecting the forearm musclesâ€™ on the humeral bone at the elbow called the lateral and medial epicondylitis respectively. View Page
The cause of a stiff elbow is either at the bony level or the collagen capsule/ligament level or both. View Page
The elbow, like the shoulder is well perfused with ample blood supply allowing for circulating white blood cells to offer excellent protection against infection and, consequently an elbow infection is uncommon. View Page
Tumors are divided into benign and malignant types. A benign tumor is an abnormal growth of a particular cell type presenting as a mass. View Page
The elbow is considered the most important single joint of the upper limb, covering 130 degrees of the functional space used in daily activities.
Functional space is defined as the space directly in front of a persons body, below eye level and above the belly button. Because the elbow joint covers the entire functional space by virtue of its arc of motion, there has never been a satisfactory position to fuse an elbow joint if it were ever destroyed by injury or disease.
The elbow consists of three main layers:
The bones are the first layer of the elbow and forearm.
Three bones unite to form the elbow joint:
These three bones allow:
The joint surfaces of the elbow are covered by hyaline cartilage forming a cushioned layer allowing for smooth gliding and painless elbow motion.
Elbow & Forearm Ligament LayerElbow Joint Ligament Layer
Lateral Elbow Ligament View Medial Elbow Ligament View
The second layer in the elbow and forearm is the capsular ligament layer made up of collagen tissue. These ligaments provide passive stability to the elbow joint keeping the humerus, radius and ulna together, allowing them to function as a unit.
The collagen tissue forming the elbow joint capsule is normally very thin except on the inside (medial) and outside (lateral) sides of the elbow where thickenings in the collagen substance form the ligaments of the elbow.
Foerarm Flexor CompartmentForearm Flexor & Mobile Wad Compartments
Elbow Flexor Muscles Elbow Extensor Muscles
The third layer of the elbow and forearm is the muscle layer. It is formed by the various muscle groups passing through the elbow and forearm.
These muscles either originate or end in the elbow and forearm. In the back of the arm this is the triceps muscle. In the back of the arm this is the brachialis and biceps muscles.
The forearm muscles crossing the elbow joint are divided into three compartments:
Each compartment contains several muscles working to move the elbow, forearm, wrist and hand in specific directions.
The median, ulnar, and radial nerves pass through the elbow and forearm within the muscle layers and innervate the muscles within these compartments as well as the muscles of the hand.