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Elbow Conditions and Treatments at UPMC in South Central Pa.

Pain in the elbow can result from accidents, overuse, or degenerative diseases.

The orthopaedic specialists at UPMC Pinnacle diagnose and treat a variety of elbow conditions, including:

  • Bursitis. The olecranon bursa is found between the point of the elbow and the skin. Bursitis here causes pain over the point and back of the elbow. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions and lubricates areas of the body where friction is likely to occur. Examples of such areas include between two bones, between a tendon or ligament and a bone, and between bone and skin.
  • Dislocation/Subluxation. A dislocation occurs when a bone is pulled or pushed out of place (out of its normal relationship to the other bones that make up a joint). A dislocation may be caused by a direct blow to the joint, a fall, or a sudden twisting movement. Subluxation occurs when a bone is partially pulled or pushed out of place (out of its normal relationship to the other bones that make up a joint). A subluxation may be caused by a direct blow to the joint, a fall, or a sudden twisting movement.
  • Elbow Fracture. A fracture is a break in a bone. Fractures can range from a hairline crack in the bone to the bone being broken into two or more pieces that no longer line up correctly. A fracture may occur at the same time as other injuries, such as sprains, strains, or dislocations. Hip fractures are most commonly caused by falls.
  • Golfer's Elbow. Golfer's elbow is pain or soreness in the inner part of the elbow from movement of muscles and tendons in the arm. A tendon is tissue that connects your muscles to bone. Golfer's elbow isn't just a problem with the elbow. It also involves the wrist. When the wrist moves, it affects the tendons that attach to the elbow.
  • Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a painful problem with the joints caused by wear and tear on the cartilage. Healthy joints help your body move, bend, and twist. But when you have arthritis, simple, everyday movements can hurt.
  • Sprains and Strains. A sprain is an injury to the tough ropey fibers (ligaments) that connect bone to bone. Most muscle strains (pulled muscles) are caused by overstretching muscles. Strains may be minor or severe, such as a torn muscle or tendon.
  • Tendon Pain. Tendon pain can be caused by a number of factors. Tendons are the tough fibers that connect your muscle to your bones. Through aging, overuse or injury, these tendons can get small tears and scarring that make movement very painful.
  • Tennis Elbow. Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis or epicondylopathy, occurs when there is tendon damage at the elbow where some of the forearm and hand muscles connect to the upper arm bone.
  • Torn Ligament. Ligaments are strong, tough, ropy connective fibers. They connect bones to each other and connect cartilage to joints. An elbow (ulnar) ligament tear is damage to the ulnar ligament most often caused by a repetitive throwing motion. It is most commonly seen in baseball players.

If you suffer from elbow pain, we will work with you to diagnose the problem and devise a treatment plan that may first include nonsurgical options such as rest, physical therapy, injections, or over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and inflammation. But if your symptoms persist or get worse, surgical intervention may be the best option.

Diagnosing Elbow Problems

Determining the source of your pain is an important first step to effectively treating your condition. Our orthopaedic specialists use a variety of tests including musculoskeletal ultrasound to arrive at a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.

Browse all of the orthopaedic diagnostic procedures offered at UPMC in South Central Pa.

Non-surgical Elbow Treatments

The specialists at UPMC Pinnacle can diagnose and treat injuries or medical conditions that are affecting your ability to exercise, participate in sports, or maintain an active lifestyle.

Our experts treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions as well as concussion. Should you need surgery, we will refer you to the appropriate specialist.

Browse all of the non-surgical treatment options offered at UPMC in South Central Pa.

Elbow Surgery Options

At UPMC Pinnacle, we specialize in minimally invasive surgical techniques that decrease pain and recovery time. Most of our procedures are laparoscopic and use robotic capabilities, resulting in smaller incisions and minimal blood loss and scarring. Types of surgical procedures for the elbow include:

  • Diagnostic exploration
  • Bone spur removal
  • Joint capsule loosening
  • Cartilage repair
  • Repair of damaged tendons
  • Percutaneous ultrasound tenotomy

We provide surgical care for a range of common and complex orthopaedic conditions. See the other conditions we treat with orthopaedic surgery.

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