While the elbow is not a weight-bearing joint, repetitive motion and traumatic events in
everyday life can injure the joint. Common injuries include lateral epicondylitis, better
known as ‘tennis elbow’, and osteoarthritis of the elbow, a degenerative bone condition.
While conservative treatment options are always preferred, certain cases require surgical
Whatever your unique case may be, Dr. Robert Haar can evaluate your elbow injury and provide
a recommendation for the best and most comfortable treatment option to fit your needs. Dr.
Haar specializes in elbow care and elbow surgery, including arthroscopic treatment of
lateral epicondylitis. To find out more about treatment options available at Haar
Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, schedule an appointment at Dr.
Haar’s New York City office, conveniently located on the Upper East Side of
Anatomy Of The Elbow
The elbow joint is made up of three bones: the radius and the ulna, both found in the
forearm, and the humerus, or upper arm bone. At the end of the humerus are a number of bony
protrusions, known as ‘epicondyles’. At the lateral epicondyle, found on the outside of the
elbow, forearm tendons attach and hold the elbow joint together.
Lateral epicondylitis, more commonly known as ‘tennis elbow’, is characterized by an
inflammation in the forearm muscles that line the elbow. Due to repetitive motion and
overuse of the forearm, the forearm muscles and tendons become damaged, causing pain,
discomfort, and limited range of motion. Typically, the inflamed tendon that causes tennis
elbow is the Extensor Carpi Radiallis Brevis (ECRB).
The elbow is one of the joints least affected by arthritis because of its well-matched joint
surfaces and strong stabilizing ligaments. Despite this strong structure, patients can
develop osteoarthritis of the elbow as a result of a previous elbow injury, including
dislocation or fracture. As cartilage in the elbow deteriorates, the bones wear against each
other and cause pain and a loss of range of motion. Joint swelling may also occur; however,
this typically occurs later as the disease progresses.
Elbow Pain Treatment
Nonsurgical treatment is always preferred to a surgical solution; however, conservative
treatment methods are not always enough to control the symptoms of elbow pain, necessitating
surgery. A variety of surgical solutions can be utilized to treat musculoskeletal conditions
affecting the elbow, including arthroscopy.
Arthroscopy is only indicated for patients whose wear or damage is limited; however, it has
been shown to improve the symptoms of elbow disorders, including tennis elbow and
osteoarthritis. During an arthroscopic elbow procedure, loose bodies and inflamed tissue are
removed from the joint. Additionally, the surgery aims to smooth out irregular surfaces
found in the joint. Because of the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, elbow
arthroscopy is often performed on an outpatient basis, with quick rates of recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you are suffering from elbow pain, a hidden elbow injury could be the culprit. The pain could vary from mild to severe, hence it is essential to consider various symptoms and consult a specialist immediately to understand the seriousness of your elbow injury. Other than pinching pain in the elbow, tingling, numbness, swelling, weakness, bruising around the joint and decreased range of motion are some of the most common symptoms of elbow injury.
Elbows are one of the largest and most complicated joints in the body. It also plays an indispensable role in our day-to-day work, hence, elbow injuries can alter your range of motion and disrupt your life to a great extent. Although elbow injuries can be cured with proper rest and rehabilitation, sometimes the patient continues to have pain and stiffness in the elbow even after a long period of rest and rehabilitation. This is when an elbow surgery is a must. To prevent pain from returning after surgery or other treatment, you will need to avoid the activity that caused your elbow injury or change the way you do it.
In the past few decades a lot of information has been recorded in context to anatomy and biomechanics of the elbow, which as a result increased the number of surgical approaches available to treat an injury.
Some of the most common approaches for elbow surgery in New York are:
Fractures and nonunions of the distal humerus and olecranon
Extraction of loose bodies, tumors, synovectomies
Total elbow arthroplasty
Fractures of the coronoid, medial condyle and epicondyle