ELBOW

Anatomy

The elbow and forearm form a functional unit whose primary role is to accurately position the hand in space. view 

Elbow Contusion

An elbow contusion results from blunt direct trauma and produces muscle strains and ligament sprains. view 

Ligament Tears and Elbow Fractures

Fractures about the elbow are the result of high energy injuries. view 

Forearm Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome in all extremities is an orthopedic emergency. view

Elbow/Forearm Wounds/Amputations

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

Elbow Arthritis

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

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome is the compression of the ulnar nerve at the level of the elbow. view

Pronator Syndrome

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

RTS & PIN Palsy

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

Lateral Epicondylitis, Medial epicondylitis, Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture

Lateral epicondyltis also called tennis elbow and medial epicondylitis called golfers elbow is a condition affecting the forearm muscles on the humeral bone at the elbow called the lateral and medial epicondylitis respectively. view

Elbow Stiffness

The cause of a stiff elbow is either at the bony level or the collagen capsule/ligament level or both. view

Elbow and Forearm Infections

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

Elbow Tumors

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

ELBOW ARTHRITIS

Pathology

Arthritis in the elbow is the loss of the elbows joint cartilage, resulting in limited elbow motion and pain with use.

Common Causes of Elbow Arthritis

  • Injury (post-traumatic arthritis)
  • Congenital lack of blood supply to the bone. Causes flaking off of the cartilage called osteochondritis dessicans (OCD)
  • Infection
  • Inflammatory arthropathies: Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Psoriatic arthritis

Treatment

elbow

Total Elbow Replacement

Treatment of elbow arthritis begins with determining the cause and severity. Nonsurgical Treatment Options

  • Anti-inflammatory medications selected by a rheumatologist
  • Therapy with a certified therapist
  • Steroid injections in the elbow
  • Activity modifications

If a conservative trial of nonsurgical options is unsuccessful, then surgical treatment can be considered.

Surgical Treatment Options:

  • Arthroscopic debridement
  • Elbow resurfacing arthroplasty with transferred tissue – Autograft or Allograft
  • Formal elbow replacement with an implant arthroplasty

Conditions Treated by an Arthroscopic Debridement if the condition is mild to moderate in severity:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Post-traumatic arthritis
  • Infection
  • Removal of loose bodies
  • Ostoechondral dessicans
  • Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis (PVNS)

PVNS is a rare type of synovial tumor. It is caused by the proliferation of the elbow synovial membrane. This produces giant cells, a cell type that normally cleans up necrotic tissue in the body. However, when there is no necrotic tissue, it invades the normal tissue like a tumor. This creates joint destruction, which leaves behind the products of red cell rupture, called hemosiderin.

After an arthroscopic debridement, low dose radiation to the elbow should be considered due to the high recurrence rate of PVNS.