The elbow and forearm form a functional unit whose primary role is to accurately position the hand in space. viewÂ
An elbow contusion results from blunt direct trauma and produces muscle strains and ligament sprains. viewÂ
Fractures about the elbow are the result of high energy injuries. viewÂ
Compartment syndrome in all extremities is an orthopedic emergency. view
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
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 is the compression of the ulnar nerve at the level of the elbow. view
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
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 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
The cause of a stiff elbow is either at the bony level or the collagen capsule/ligament level or both. view
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
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
The cause of a stiff elbow is either at the bony level or the collagen capsule/ligament level or both.
Common Causes of Stiff Elbow
When elbow trauma is associated with a close head injury, a buildup of abnormal bone can develop in locations where it is not normally found. This is called heterotopic ossification.
If the bone develops in muscle, it is called myositis ossificans. When bone develops in the elbow, it can bind the humerus to the radius or ulna. This affects flexion, extension and forearm rotation. To make the diagnosis, a physical exam and plain x-rays are all that is required prior to proceeding with surgery.
The treatment of a stiff elbow depends on the cause of the stiff joint. When the problem is the joint capsule and only minor spurs are present in the elbow, the contracture can be removed arthroscopically through small incisions.
If there is heterotopic bone, the procedure involves an open incision and within 24 hours of surgery, it is common to use a small dose of radiation to limit the recurrence rate of the heterotopic bone. Aggressive therapy to maintain the motion obtained during surgery is critical to ensure a lasting result. The use of splints to assist in the maintenance of the motion is also common.
Arthroscopic soft tissue procedures are at maximum improvement within 2 months but open procedures involving bone removal may take as much as 4-6 months to reach maximum medical improvement.