Elbow Treatment in New York City
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 intervention.
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 Manhattan.
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.