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Bend and straighten, bend, and straighten. That’s what your elbows do hundreds of times a day. Don’t forget pronation, when the arm rotates so the hand faces down, or supination, as if you placed your palm down on a flat surface.

Your elbow performs these repetitive tasks over and over, and you don’t think about it. That is, until something is wrong with your elbow, and you can’t function the way you should.

Think of the elbow as a junction, where two bones of your forearm come together with another bone of your upper arm, the humerus. On the forearm, there’s the radius, located on the thumb side of your arm, and the ulna on the other, pinky-finger side. They’re joined by the usual group of muscles, tendons, and ligaments to allow your elbow to work its versatile magic.

If you’ve had damage to your elbow joint or surrounding soft tissue, you may experience pain that interferes with how you live your active life.

Assessing Your Elbows

Here at the Orthopedic Institute at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, your orthopedic surgeon will begin with your medical history, to obtain a comprehensive background on you and your current complaint. Then your doctor will perform a physical examination that might include these basic tests that assess different functions:

  • Palpation
  • Range of motion test
  • Stability test
  • Sensory test
  • Nerves test
  • X-ray
  • Computerized tomography or CT scan
  • Ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI

Elbow Symptoms and Conditions We Treat

  • Arthritis
  • Bone and joint infections
  • Bursitis
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Dislocation
  • Elbow fracture
  • Elbow instability
  • Elbow pain
  • Elbow replacement
  • Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
  • Humerus fracture
  • Joint instability
  • Ligament injury or sprain of the elbow
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sports injuries
  • Tendinitis
  • Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

Nonsurgical Treatments for Elbow Conditions

From athletes, to aspiring athletes, to people who just want to regain elbow mobility, our orthopedic surgeons welcome the opportunity to help you feel better and function better. Before recommending surgery, your physician may suggest:

  • Ice or cryotherapy
  • Rest or modification of activities
  • Splinting or immobilization: These restrict movement that allows you to heal faster.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers: Those most often used include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen or ibuprofen. Acetaminophen can ease pain but not inflammation.
  • Corticosteroids: These may be injected into the knee joint to provide temporary pain relief and reduce swelling, but these are not always successful. Injections are usually limited to four times annually.
  • Platelet-rich plasma: This injection is made from your blood cells called platelets, that contain growth factors to help injured tissue heal faster. The blood is taken from your arm.
  • Physical therapy: Committing to a program and following directions may increase elbow range of motion and flexibility and diminish pain.

What’s Causing Elbow Discomfort?

You’ve come to see our orthopedic surgeons because maybe you’re experiencing any of the following caused by injury or overuse, or maybe by age-related changes:

  • Inability to move the way you used to move
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Weakness

Elbow Surgeries Performed

  • Arthroscopy
  • Bone spur removal
  • Bursitis
  • Elbow replacement
  • Fracture repair
  • Synovectomy
  • Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) repair

Minimally Invasive Surgery

If your surgeon performs a minimally invasive procedure, that means less of the tissue in the elbow will be cut, using smaller incisions that disturb less of that tissue. Your surgeon will determine if you are a suitable candidate for this type of procedure, which provides you these advantages:

  • Shorter recovery time
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Less trauma to the tissues around your joint
  • Less scarring and less blood loss
  • Quicker rehabilitation

Whatever your needs, you can trust your elbow care to the expert orthopedic surgeons at the Orthopedic Institute at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.

After Your Surgery

Our surgical team is dedicated to helping you get back to normal faster after elbow surgery, and to ensuring your post-operative experience goes smoothly.

The care team is here for you before, during, and after your procedure, to answer any questions you may have, no matter how detailed. We’re committed to your success, and to your return to being the active person you’ve always been.