Elbow osteoarthritis causes
Osteoarthritis of the elbow is caused by wear and tear from work, everyday activities or as a result of a previous injury or fracture. It occurs when cartilage in the elbow joint roughens and thins so the joint capsule thickens and tightens, causing swelling and a hot pain. It is most common in middle aged men who perform strenuous activity, people with a history of elbow fractures, or those with a family history of osteoarthritis.
Elbow osteoarthritis symptoms
Patients experience pain and stiffness in the elbow joint, a loss of range of motion and often report a grating sensation. This is a result of the damage to the normally smooth joint surface. A locking of the elbow is also a common symptom and this occurs when tiny pieces of cartilage or bone are dislodged. Swelling appears once the condition is advanced and this can increase pressure on the ulna nerve, causing a tingling in the fingers.
Elbow osteoarthritis treatment
There is no cure but treatments can help manage it and control the symptoms. Self help such as maintaining a healthy weight and dong sensible, regular exercise can help reduce the discomfort.
Massage and physiotherapy can improve the daily impact and painkillers can ease flare-ups. There are a range of surgical and non-surgical treatments including the TENS nerve stimulation machine which may alleviate symptoms in the short-term.
Severe osteoarthritis which is having an impact on work and life can be treated with surgeries – normally keyhole – to replace part or the whole of an affected joint with an artificial one, normally for the knees or hips. A skilled orthopaedic surgeon will be able to advise the best procedure to strengthen the joint, improve mobility and reduce pain.
To ask a question, make an enquiry or book an appointment, contact our specialist team on 0207 078 3867 or [email protected], the team are available between Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm and on Saturday from 9am – 3pm. Our elbow team have a dedicated and caring approach and will seek to find you the earliest appointment possible with the correct specialist for your needs.
If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use. Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.