The elbow is a complex joint. This is because it provides not only flexion and extension, but also rotation allowing us to rotate our hand palm up or down. The three bones making up the elbow joint just , the ulna, radius and humerus, work hard to provide stability and fluid motion in a variety of movements.
Injuries of the elbow can lead to long-term disability and different types of elbow injuries require different treatment approaches. Therefore, it’s really important that you see a doctor who specializes in elbow pain.
But you’re sure to have a lot of questions when you see an elbow injury doctor. Let’s run through a list of things you should ask when you’re looking for elbow pain solutions.
1. What Is Causing My Elbow Pain?
The cause of your elbow pain is likely to be one of the first things you’ll want to know about. Sometimes pain is the result of a one-off injury, perhaps after a fall or a sporting accident. This includes elbow dislocation and fracture. Strains and sprains are also common in athletes who practice racquet, contact, or throwing sports.
Wear and tear injuries also affect the elbow, often caused by repeat actions performed in sports or in the workplace. The condition that is commonly known as tennis or golfers elbow is most often linked to occupational activity.
2. How Do I Know if I Have an Elbow Fracture?
Elbow fractures can occur as the result of a fall or direct blow to the elbow, or abnormal twisting of the joint. Possible signs of an elbow fracture include extreme pain and a visible deformity.
Less severe breaks will still cause pain, swelling, and bruising of the elbow along with stiffness and possible numbness or weakness in the wrist, arm, and hand.
3. Do I Need Surgery?
For very severe cases of ligament injury or arthritis, surgery may be indicated. This might be advised if there has been major damage to a ligament or the joint itself and rest and rehabilitation have not improved things.
However, most ligament injuries do not require surgery. People suffering from this type of injury in the Portland area should make an appointment to see a sports doctor, to assess the injury and accurately diagnose the problem.
Common tendon problems involving the elbow like tennis elbow or golfers elbow rarely need surgery. However, a less common injury to the bicep tendon of the elbow which is where the bicep muscle attaches to the forearm could need surgery urgently if it ruptures. The bicep tendon can tear when lifting something really heavy resulting in a “pop”, pain, and bruising along the anterior elbow.
4. What Other Treatment Options Are Available?
There are various non-surgical options available for treating elbow pain. Your doctor might recommend steroid injections for some elbow injuries. These can be performed under ultrasound guidance to ensure accurate delivery of the medication to the targeted area.
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is an innovative new approach for treating orthopedic injuries. It uses cells from your blood which can aid with healing elbow injuries.
5. How Can I Prevent Elbow Injuries?
Try to avoid repetitive movements wherever possible. If your pain is related to workplace issues, make sure that your workspace has been assessed by an ergonomics specialist.
If you’re an active individual playing sports that involve gripping objects like a racquet, you should do stretching exercises each day to try to prevent stiffness in the joints. If you do feel pain, you should have a period of rest and use an ice pack or compression on the affected area.
Make an Appointment Today
If you’re suffering from elbow pain in Portland, Oregon, contact us now to make an appointment. Our friendly staff has a wide range of cutting-edge treatments available to improve your condition and help you get back to your normal activities.