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Arm/Elbow Conditions

Arms & Elbows: Ready for action?

Enjoying your favorite hobby or sport, or reaching for an object at work are simple tasks - until you have pain or weakness of the arm or elbow. Arm and elbow conditions can even affect the hands, as well, when the cause numbness or tingling. For some people, an injury points clearly to the cause. For others, the pain or weakness causes a gradual change in how easily you can do certain tasks. At some point you realize, "I should be able to do that. I used to be able to do that."

Whether you have a sudden or a gradual change in pain or strength of your elbows or arms, the orthopedic experts at The Hand Center can help you get back to doing the things you want and need to do. We're experts at diagnosing the causes of arm and elbow conditions, and we can create a treatment plan to help you:

  • Reduce pain
  • Increase movement (range of motion)
  • Gain strength
  • And get back to work and fun.

Your treatment plan might include working with a trained therapist, exercises to do at home, medicines or surgery - or a combination of these. When necessary, we can also help you learn new ways to perform tasks so that you prevent re-injury or so can better move freely and with less pain.

Common arm and elbow conditions

    Biceps Tear at the Elbow

    Often caused when the elbow is forced to straighten, a bicep tear may "pop" and be accompanied by severe pain that will lessen over the next few weeks.  Depending on the severity of the tear, surgery may be necessary to regain strength in the upper arm.

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    Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

    Cubital Tunnel Syndrome refers to the numbness, pain, and tingling feeling that occurs in the elbow-to-finger area.  Treatments vary from wearing elbow pads to surgery.

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    Dislocated Elbow

    Although uncommon, a dislocation of the elbow most often results from car accidents and falls. The amount of swelling and tenderness depends on whether it was a partial or complete dislocation. Immediate attention and treatment to realign the elbow is advised.

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    Elbow Bursitis

    Swelling of the elbow results from extra fluid entering the tissue that separates the bones in the elbow. Pressure, trauma, and infection cause the insertion of the extra fluid and can be very painful. Both surgical and non surgical measures can be taken to remove the fluid or correct the infection.

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    Elbow Fractures in Children

    Most fractures around the elbow joint are caused from a fall onto an outstretched arm. The force of hitting the ground may fracture the bone.

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    Forearm Fractures in Children

    Several types of fractures may occur in the forearm, from the wrist to the elbow. Fractures in children heal at a much faster rate than adults. Immediate attention to straighten the arm with a splint or cast is necessary for proper healing.

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    Olecranon (Elbow) Fractures

    The tip of the elbow can easily be broken or fractured with a direct or indirect blow to the elbow. Typically the arm will be difficult to move, and the elbow may be painful to straighten. A sling or cast is often used to keep the elbow in place as it heals.

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    Radial Head Fractures

    The radial head, a small bone near the elbow, can easily break by extending the arm to break a fall. Even the smallest type of fracture hinders elbow movement.

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    Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

    Often seen in tennis players, Tennis elbow results from overuse. Pain can increase over time and may be controlled with rest and proper treatment.

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    Throwing Injuries in the Elbow

    A common problem with baseball players, especially pitchers, is an increased pain in the elbow. If left untreated, throwing injuries can lead to surgery.

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    Ulnar Nerve Entrapment

    Unwanted pressure to the ulnar nerve may create numbness or pain in the shoulder to hand area. Although the exact cause is unknown, typically non-surgical measures can correct the issue.

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For a more comprehensive list of finger to shoulder conditions, visit the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.