These are joint cartilage injuries which can sometimes also be accompanied by bone injury. It is less common in the elbow than in the ankle, knee and hip, usually producing pain, inflammation and functional limitation.
There are several treatment options aimed at preventing the early onset of osteoarthritis:
Impingement is caused by tissue becoming pinched between the joint and its neighboring structures. This produces pain and functional limitation in elbow flexion and extension. It is common for pitchers and golfers and may be confused with epicondylitis and epitrocleitis.
This is a form of arthroscopic surgery also known as elbow release surgery. Its purpose is to unlock the elbow and give back mobility to the stiff joint by eliminating adhesions present in the joint. The stiffening affects the range of flexion and extension. Following surgery, self-assisted passive mobilization will be started as part of physiotherapy. Elbow joint stiffness can be caused by trauma, injuries, fractures or elbow surgery.
This is a frequent overuse injury affecting the tendons on the outside of the elbow and the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle. It causes pain in the upper third of the forearm, radiating to the back of the hand and the third and fourth finger. It is a type of tendinitis and a typical injury of tennis players although it can affect anyone.
This is a form of tendinitis where the damage is to the tendons on the inside of the elbow. Pain occurs at the level of the inner side of the forearm, in the area of the epitrochlear which usually worsens with flexion and pronation of the wrist. It is much less frequent than tennis elbow.
This injury is caused by a neuropathic compression of the posterior interosseous nerve that is a deep branch of the radial nerve at the level of the elbow. The most frequent place of compression is inside the radial tunnel at the Arc of Fröhse. It is usually due to repetitive movements with the elbow in extension and produces pain in the epicondyle muscle that radiates through the arm. It produces weakness of the extensor muscles in the fingers.
This injury is related to radial paralysis that occurs in displaced fractures of the humerus. It is caused by repetitive exercise that after inflammation of the arm can also be compressed. There is a decrease in sensitivity in the radial area of the arm, as well as weakness or paralysis of the dorsal forearm muscles "drooping of the wrist."
The body’s muscles are grouped into compartments and between them there is connective tissue called fascia. When exercising, blood increases in the muscles and the fascia lacks the distention capacity for this increased volume of blood. This causes pain due to the increase of pressure when you exercise which will then subside when exercise ceases. This is a typical chronic condition in athletes.
This is the second most frequent neuropathy of the upper limb after carpal tunnel. The ulnar nerve supplies innervation to muscles in the forearm and hand. Most compression occurs at the level of the elbow near the cubital tunnel. It usually produces pain in the anterior and medial part of the elbow and forearm, numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers and a decrease in sensitivity of the dorso-ulnar area of the hand.
It can be caused by compression when the nerve becomes entrapped, by repeated activity such as golf or by metabolic diseases like diabetes, an old elbow fracture, or by working with the elbow in flexion.
A fairly common fracture to the end of the ulna, the bony part of the elbow which is often caused by direct trauma to the elbow coming from a fall. It can be non-displaced, displaced but stable, and displaced but unstable. Each type requiring a different treatment.
This is a very important part of the humeroulnar joint where collateral ligaments insert and resist the posterior displacement of the biceps and triceps. It is a fairly uncommon fracture indicative of elbow instability due to the collateral ligamentous structures involved. The fracture is classified according to the degree the coronoid apophysis has been affected.
The head of the radius is an intra-articular structure, which articulates with the humeral condyle, allowing movements of flexion and extension and pronosupination of the elbow. It is joined to the ulna by the interosseous ligament. This is a frequent elbow fracture and in 30% of cases is associated with other injuries.
The ulna and radius form a ring together with the proximal and distal radioulnar joints. Fractures in this area, called double-bone fractures, are common and if not treated correctly can cause loss of function. It is also important to look for other associated injuries. These fractures are typically caused by direct trauma or indirectly due to hyperextension.
These are common forearm injuries affecting the middle third or distal forearm. They usually occur due to direct trauma and are classified according to stability and displacement.
This is a relatively uncommon injury consisting of a fracture to the head of the ulna with radial head dislocation. The most frequent are Type 1: ulnar fracture with anterior angulation and anterior dislocation of the radial head. These injuries are most often the result of a fall on an outstretched hand.
These fractures are most frequent in the middle third and proximal part of the radius without injury of the distal radioulnar joint. They are typically caused by a fall on the hand with the elbow in extension.
This is a fracture of the distal third of the radius with distal radioulnar dislocation. The more distal the fracture the more instability it causes. Other signs of instability are fracture of the base of the ulnar styloid, widening of the joint, shortening of the radius and persistent incongruence of the distal ulna. It is caused by a direct blow to the forearm or indirectly with a fall where the forearm is in pronation.
It is the second most frequently dislocated joint after the shoulder and typically produces injuries of capsuloligamentous structures.
The dislocation can be referred to as the Terrible Triad Injury TTI when associated with fractures of the radial head and ulnar coronoid process. This is a very serious and unstable injury requiring surgical intervention.
Possible injuries of the ulnar or median nerve must also be assessed, in addition to possible vascular affectations.