Elbow Pain, Injuries and Other Conditions

Elbow pain is an extremely common complaint, and it has many causes. It is important to receive an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms so that appropriate treatment is administered. Our staff are caring board-certified orthopedic doctors in Broward County, Florida with more than 30 years of experience in diagnosing and treating elbow pain and movement conditions. Call 754-205-0682 or fill out the form to the right for individualized attentive orthopedic care at our Broward County, Florida location.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a common injury that originally got its name because it is a frequent injury that affects many tennis players. However, it also occurs in people who do not play tennis at all.  The lateral epicondyle is the outside bony portion of the elbow where large tendons attach to the elbow from the muscles of the forearm. These tendons can be injured, especially with repetitive motions of the forearm, such as hitting a backhand shot while playing tennis, lifting weights, or even using hand-held tools for long periods of time.

Tennis elbow results with inflammation of the tendons causing pain on the outside of the elbow. Pain can also spread into your forearm and wrist.

The treatment for tennis elbow usually includes ice packs, resting the elbow, and anti-inflammatory medications. Using an elbow brace to immobilize it can also help. If the pain is severe and persistent, local cortisone injections may be given. In severe cases, an orthopedic surgical repair may be performed.

Depending on the severity of your injury, you might be a candidate for a new breakthrough treatment called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), which may be an alternative treatment to surgery. The diagnosis and treatment course is determined upon the results of an MRI.

The most common symptoms of tennis elbow are:

  • Pain over the outside of the elbow

  • Pain when lifting objects

  • Pain radiating down the forearm

  • Warmth and swelling of the elbow

Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is similar to tennis elbow, but it occurs on the inside of your elbow. The primary differences between these two conditions are the location of the pain and the activity that leads to the injury. However, both conditions are caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, leading to inflammation and pain around the elbow joint. 

The pain of golfer's elbow usually occurs at the elbow joint on the inside of the arm accompanied by a shooting sensation down the forearm. Pain is also common while gripping objects.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain and tenderness on the inner side of your elbow. Sometimes the pain extends along the inner side of your forearm.

  • Stiffness. Your elbow may feel stiff, and it may hurt to make a fist.

  • Weakness. You may have weakness in your hands and wrists.

  • Numbness or tingling. Many people with golfer's elbow experience numbness or a tingling sensation that radiates into one or more fingers, usually the ring and little fingers.

Elbow Bursitis

Elbow bursitis causes fluid to collect in a sac that lies behind the elbow, called the olecranon bursa. A bursa is a slippery, sac-like tissue that normally allows smooth movement around bony protrusions, such as the point behind the elbow. When a bursa becomes inflamed, the sac fills with fluid. This can cause pain and swelling behind the elbow.

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Elbow bursitis may follow a traumatic accident, such as the result of a fall or it may appear out of nowhere. People who rest their elbows on hard surfaces may aggravate the condition and make the swelling more prominent.Occasionally, the swelling and inflammation to the elbow can be the result of an infection within the bursa. This is called infected elbow bursitis. Patients with systemic inflammatory conditions, such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis, are also at increased risk of developing infected elbow bursitis.

Symptoms of bursitis include:

  • Tenderness directly over the bursa

  • Pain with movement of overlying muscles and tendons

  • Swelling of the bursa

Biceps Tendon Tear

The biceps tendon connects the biceps muscle to the bone. Normally, the biceps tendon is connected very strongly to the bone. When the biceps tendon tears, it causes the tendon to detach from the bone. Following a biceps tendon tear, the muscle cannot pull on the bone, and certain movements may be weakened and painful.

There are two types of biceps tendon tears:

  1. Proximal Biceps Tendon Tear: A proximal biceps tendon tear is an injury to the biceps tendon at the shoulder joint. This injury type is the most common type of biceps tendon injury. It is most common in patients over 60 years of age, and often causes minimal symptoms. For more information, see Orthopedics.com link here.

  2. Distal Biceps Tendon Tear: The distal biceps tendon injury occurs around the elbow joint. This type of injury usually occurs from heavy lifting or sports. Many patients with a distal biceps tear will need arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn tendon. For more information, see Orthopedics.com link here.

Depending on the severity of the tear, you might be a candidate for a new breakthrough treatment called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), which may be an alternative treatment to surgery. The diagnosis and treatment course is determines upon the results of an MRI.

Pitcher’s Elbow (Ulnar Collateral Ligament Sprain)

Pitcher’s elbow (ulnar collateral ligament sprain) most commonly occurs in throwing activities, such as pitching a baseball. Athletes suffering from pitcher’s elbow experience an onset of elbow pain that becomes worse with activity. The pain is typically relieved with rest but returns on resumption of throwing at high speed.

Several muscles, nerves, and tendons cross at the elbow. Repetitive throwing may create an excessively strong pull on these tendons and ligaments. Symptoms include:

  • Pain at the knobby bump on the inside of the elbow

  • Restricted range of motion

  • Locking of the elbow joint

Our staff diagnoses pitcher’s elbow upon physical examination and imaging, such as an x-ray or MRI. Treatment options include non-surgical treatments including Regenerative Injection Therapy with platelets and stem cells. 

Other elbow injuries include:

  • Cartilage injury to the joint

  • Ligament injury to the elbow

  • Compression of the median and ulnar nerves of the elbow

  • Osteoarthritis