What Is Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow? 

Both tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are repetitive strain injuries from overuse of the tendons attached to the elbow. Overuse often results in excessive tension being placed on the tendons, which can lead to inflammation within and around the joints.

What Are the Symptoms of Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow? 

The symptoms of tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are typically pain around the elbow’s bony prominences, known as the epicondyles. The pain is often aggravated by gripping objects or holding heavy loads, which may lead to difficulties performing daily activities.

Should you find it difficult to carry out your routine activities, it is advised that you seek medical attention. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow?

The treatment options for tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow typically include physiotherapy as epicondylitis usually recovers with physical therapy. 

Additionally, our doctors may prescribe medications for pain relief. For cases that do not improve with physiotherapy, surgery may be indicated.

What Is a Distal Bicep Tendon Tear?

To help you better understand what a distal bicep tendon tear is, we must note that tendons are what connect muscles to bones, and biceps are the muscle on the front of one’s arm. 

In a distal bicep tendon tear, the tendon attaching the biceps to the elbow is torn. These tears are usually the result of lifting heavy loads, especially if the tendon is already degenerated and weakened.

What Are the Symptoms of a Distal Bicep Tendon Tear?

When a distal bicep tendon tear first occurs, pain will be felt around the elbow and in the biceps. The biceps also become more prominent, especially when the elbow bends. This may lead to what is known as the “Popeye’s Sign”, where the bicep appears to bulge more than expected. Additionally, patient’s will notice that the strength of the elbow is also weakened.

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Distal Bicep Tendon Tear? 

The treatment options for a distal bicep tendon tear may vary based on the patient’s age. With older patients, doctors may recommend that the injury be left alone. 

However, surgery is usually recommended in younger and more active patients because the associated weakness may impact both daily activities and sports.

What Is an Osteochondral Injury 

An osteochondral injury refers to damage of the joint cartilage and the underlying bone. It varies in severity from a depressed area of cartilage and bone to a separation of a piece of the cartilage and bone from the joint surface. 

What Are the Symptoms of an Osteochondral Injury?

The symptoms of an osteochondral injury are pain and swelling in acute injuries. An acute injury is a severe one that occurs suddenly, for example, strains or sprains sustained during a clash with another player during sports. 

During an osteochondral injury, patients may notice that the function of the affected joint is also compromised. If the fragment is loose, the sensation of a mechanical block or locking may be present. As the joint function is compromised, return to sports or even daily activities may be affected in chronic cases.

What Are the Treatment Options Available for an Osteochondral Injury? 

When treating an osteochondral injury, our doctors may order an MRI scan to assess the severity of the damage before deciding on a treatment plan. 

In mild cases, immobilisation and avoidance of putting a strain on the joint, combined with medication, may allow the injury to heal. More severe cases or those that do not heal with non-invasive treatment will require surgery to prevent deterioration of the injury and long term complications.

Treatment is usually an arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery to stimulate healing of the injury or osteochondral grafting. Keyhole surgeries tend to be less invasive and typically require a reduced recovery period.

What Is a Collateral Ligament Injury?

Our ligaments are responsible for holding our bones together. The collateral ligaments of the elbow hold the bones that make up the elbow and prevent the forearm from moving sideways at the elbow. 

Tears occur due to dislocations of the elbow from falls or in particular sports, such as Jiu-jitsu. The ligament injury may also be associated with fractures around the elbow.

What Are the Symptoms of a Collateral Ligament Injury?

The symptoms of a collateral ligament injury are pain and instability, in which the elbow may feel loose and not secured. In severe cases, there may be recurrent dislocations.

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Collateral Ligament Injury? 

Treatment options for a collateral ligament injury may vary according to the severity of the damage. A brace may be recommended in mild cases to stabilise the elbow and allow the torn ligament to heal. 

In more severe cases or cases associated with fractures, it is likely that surgery will be needed to repair or reconstruct the torn ligaments.

What Is Arthritis of the Elbow?

Arthritis of the elbow refers to inflammation of the elbow. Common causes include gout, autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or psoriasis, and degeneration from old injuries or overuse.

What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis of the Elbow?

Arthritis of the elbow is associated with pain and swelling and difficulties using the affected upper limb in one’s daily activities.

What Are the Treatment Options Available for Arthritis of the Elbow?

In early autoimmune cases, medications may be used to reduce the pain, inflammation and swelling. Physiotherapy may also be prescribed to improve elbow function. 

Surgery is often needed in more severe cases. Arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery to remove loose bodies remove the inflamed tissues. Additionally, a technique known as microfracture may be recommended to stimulate healing of the cartilage to improve elbow function if there is some remaining cartilage present. 

If the joint is completely worn out, a metal joint will be needed to replace the worn-out joint.

What Is a Distal Humerus Fracture?

A distal humerus fracture is a fracture of the end of the arm bone near the elbow. Distal humerus fractures can affect the elbow joint and may also be associated with ligament injuries. 

They are serious injuries that can severely affect elbow movement and function.

What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis of a Distal Humerus Fracture?

Distal humerus fractures usually result from a fall or accident and cause pain and deformity. As it affects the bone and joint, movement will be painful, and the arm may appear flail.

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Distal Humerus Fracture?

As distal humerus fractures are severe injuries, they typically require surgery to put the broken bone and torn ligament back together. Other options like casting often lead to poorer outcomes.

What Is a Proximal Ulna Fracture?

A proximal ulna fracture refers to a fracture of the forearm bone that, together with the humerus (arm bone), forms the elbow joint. 

What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis of a Proximal Ulna Fracture?

Proximal ulna fractures may result from moderate to high energy injuries, such as falls or accidents. Pain and a flail forearm or elbow joint is the most noticeable symptom of a proximal ulna fracture. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Proximal Ulna Fracture?

In the case of milder or undisplaced injuries, our doctors may recommend treatment with a cast. In contrast, displaced injuries may typically require surgery to address the associated deformity or disrupted joint surface.

What Is a Proximal Radius or Radial Head and Neck Fracture?

A proximal radius is a fracture at the elbow end of the forearm bone that gives the forearm the ability to rotate. It usually arises from a fall onto the outstretched hand.

What Are the Symptoms of a Proximal Radius or Radial Head and Neck Fracture?

Common symptoms of a proximal radius fracture are pain and often an inability to rotate the forearm. As the ulnar which spans the forearm is not affected, there may not be an obvious deformity or flail forearm.

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Proximal Radius or Radial Head and Neck Fracture?

In undisplaced or minimally displaced fractures, casting is possible. However, when the fracture is displaced, surgery is typically needed to address the deformity because the misalignment may affect the forearm’s ability to rotate.

What Is an Elbow Dislocation?

An elbow dislocation occurs when the bones that make up the joint are no longer connected in their normal alignment. This misalignment usually results from a fall or accident and involves tearing of the connecting ligaments.

What Are the Symptoms of an Elbow Dislocation?

Common symptoms of an elbow dislocation are an elbow that feels painful and loose. Many patients will complain of a “feeling that the joint is not connected”.

What Are the Treatment Options Available for an Elbow Dislocation?

When a dislocation occurs, the first thing our doctors will do is to put it back together again. The affected upper limb is then rested in a sling or brace to prevent the elbow from coming out again.

What Is Elbow Osteoarthritis?

Elbow osteoarthritis refers to the wear and tear of the elbow joint cartilage. It is often the result of overuse of the elbow joint. 

What Are the Symptoms of Elbow Osteoarthritis?

Elbow osteoarthritis is associated with pain, reduced elbow motion, and swelling. Patients may also feel a creaking sensation when using the elbow. Elbow osteoarthritis may prevent you from carrying out your daily activities. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for Elbow Osteoarthritis?

In early cases, medication may be used to reduce the pain and swelling. Physiotherapy may also be prescribed to improve elbow function. 

In more severe cases, surgery may be needed. Arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery is recommended to remove loose bodies and remove inflamed tissues. Additionally, a technique known as microfracture may be recommended to stimulate healing of the cartilage and can improve elbow function if there is some remaining cartilage present. 

If the joint is completely worn out, a metal joint may be needed to replace the worn-out joint.

Severe elbow trauma can result from complex bone fractures and ligament tears, resulting in elbow instability, dislocations, pain and poor joint function. Dr Bernard Lee employs modern techniques with a comprehensive approach to get the best results out of severe injuries.

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Dr Bernard Lee is a trained elbow arthroscopy (keyhole) surgeon who can address multiple problems with minimally invasive surgery.

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Find out more about
Elbow Injuries

  1. Soft tissue problems
    1. Epicondylitis (Tennis elbow and Golfer’s elbow)
    2. Distal Biceps tendon tear
    3. Osteochondral injury
  2. Instability
    1. Collateral ligament injury
  3. Arthritis of the elbow
  4. Trauma/Fractures
    1. Distal humerus fracture
    2. Proximal ulna fracture
    3. Proximal radius/radial head and neck fracture
    4. Elbow dislocation
  1. Elbow Instability
    1. Collateral ligament repair
    2. Collateral ligament reconstruction
  2. Degenerative Conditions
    1. Arthroscopic debridement for osteoarthritis
    2. Elbow epicondylitis repair (Tennis elbow and Golfer’s elbow
  3. Stiff Elbow
    1. Arthroscopic debridement and capsular release
    2. Column procedure
  4. Trauma/Fracture
    1. Distal biceps tendon repair
    2. Triceps tendon repair
    3. Distal humerus fracture fixation
    4. Proximal Radius/Ulna fracture fixation
    5. Terrible Triad (elbow fracture-dislocation) surgical fixation and ligament repair/reconstruction
    6. Radial head replacement
  5. Total Elbow Replacement
    1. For osteoarthritis/rheumatoid arthritis
    2. For complex trauma

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