If you’ve been experiencing pain or loss of range of motion in your elbow, you could be suffering from elbow arthritis. Although arthritis of the elbow joint is relatively uncommon compared to arthritis of other joints in the body, this could be what you’re experiencing. If you feel like you are suffering from the symptoms mentioned below, schedule an appointment with Dr. Larson to discuss treatment options.
The most common symptom of elbow arthritis is the pain, although restrictions in mobility and limited ability to perform upper extremity activities are also common. Patients can typically tolerate mild symptoms of arthritis, as upper extremity joint problems are better tolerated, and most elbow activities don’t require people to have a full range of motion.
- Pain in the elbow
- Limited range-of-motion/stiffness
- Swelling of the elbow
- Grinding sensations of the elbow
- Instability of the elbow joint
Types of Arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis affects the elbow most commonly. This kind of arthritis will limit the functionality of the elbow and will usually cause swelling, pain, and instability at the joint.
- Post-traumatic arthritis is found following an injury to a joint. The common injuries that lead to elbow arthritis include fractures and/or dislocations. Any injury that damages elbow cartilage will often lead to progressive arthritis.
- Osteoarthritis is relatively uncommon to find in the elbow, however, not unheard of. It mostly occurs in those who have a history of heavy labor activity or sports.
The treatment that will be recommended for you depends on the severity and type of arthritis you are experiencing. Dr. Larson will recommend the right treatment for you and your lifestyle to get you onto the path to recovery. The treatment options range from noninvasive techniques to surgery. A few treatment options include:
- Oral anti-inflammatory medications
- Activity modifications
- Ice and heat application
- Alternative treatments
- Cortisone injection
- Physical therapy
- Elbow Arthroscopy
If surgery is recommended, it will be a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure. The surgery, or arthroscopy, helps to smooth out irregular bone surfaces and remove any bone spurs that may continue to grate onto another bone. Scar tissue is cleared out of the joint to help manage symptoms of arthritis.
Experiencing arthritis in your elbows makes everyday activities painful. Living with pain is not something you need to accept. Dr. Larson can help improve the quality of your life. As you work with him and his team, you’ll be able to return to your activities with less pain. To schedule your appointment, give us a call at 435-774-8512.