Accessibility Tools

Elbow

  • Elbow ArthritisElbow Arthritis

    Although the elbows are not weight-bearing joints, they are considered to be most important for the functioning of the upper limbs. Hence, even minor trauma or disease affecting the elbow may cause pain and limit the movements of the upper limbs. Arthritis is one of the common disease conditions affecting the elbow joint.

  • Elbow FracturesElbow Fractures

    Elbow fractures may occur from trauma, resulting from various reasons: a fall on an outstretched arm, a direct blow to the elbow or an abnormal twist to the joint beyond its functional limit.

  • Elbow DislocationElbow Dislocation

    The arm in the human body is made up of three bones that join to form a hinge joint called the elbow. The upper arm bone or humerus connects from the shoulder to the elbow to form the top of the hinge joint. The lower arm or forearm consists of two bones, the radius, and the ulna.

  • Elbow TraumaElbow Trauma

    The elbow is a complex joint of the upper limb, formed by the articulation of the long bone of the upper arm or humerus, and the two bones of the forearm - the radius and ulna. It is one of the important joints of the upper limb and is involved in basic movements such as bending and extending the arm and rotating the forearm.

  • Bicep Tendon Tear at the ElbowBicep Tendon Tear at the Elbow

    A biceps tear can be complete or partial. Partial biceps tendon tears will not completely break the tendon while complete tendon tears will break the tendon into two parts. Tears of the distal biceps tendon are usually complete and the muscle is separated from the bone.

  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (Ulnar Nerve Entrapment)Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (Ulnar Nerve Entrapment)

    When the elbow is bent, the ulnar nerve can stretch and catch on the bony bump. When the ulnar nerve is compressed or entrapped, the nerve can tear and become inflamed, leading to cubital tunnel syndrome.

  • Elbow (Olecranon) BursitisElbow (Olecranon) Bursitis

    Inflammation of the olecranon bursa leads to a condition called olecranon bursitis.The elbow contains a large, curved, pointy bone at the back called the olecranon, which is covered by the olecranon bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that allows smooth movement between the bone and overlying skin.

  • Elbow SprainElbow Sprain

    An elbow sprain is an injury to the soft tissues of the elbow. It is caused due to stretching or tearing (partial or full) of the ligaments that support the elbow joint.

  • Tennis ElbowTennis Elbow

    Tennis elbow is a common name for the elbow condition lateral epicondylitis. It is an overuse injury that causes inflammation and microtears of the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle.

  • Golfer's ElbowGolfer's Elbow

    Golfer’s elbow, also called medial epicondylitis, is a painful condition occurring from repeated muscle contractions in the forearm that leads to inflammation and microtears in the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle.

  • Elbow InjuriesElbow Injuries

    The elbow is a complex joint formed by the articulation of three bones – the humerus, radius, and ulna. Articular cartilage lines the articulating regions of the humerus, radius, and ulna. It is a thin, tough, flexible and slippery surface that acts as a shock absorber and cushion to reduce friction between the bones.

  • Elbow PainElbow Pain

    Damage to any of the structures that make up the elbow joint can cause elbow pain.

  • Throwing InjuriesThrowing Injuries

    An athlete uses an overhand throw to achieve greater speed and distance. Repeated throwing in sports such as baseball and basketball can place a lot of stress on the joints of the arm, and lead to weakening and ultimately, injury to the structures in the elbow.

  • Triceps TendonitisTriceps Tendonitis

    Triceps tendonitis is inflammation of the triceps tendon, the tissue that connects the triceps muscle on the back of the upper arm to the back of the elbow joint, allowing you to straighten your arm back after you have bent it.

  • Radial Tunnel SyndromeRadial Tunnel Syndrome

    Radial tunnel syndrome is a painful condition caused by pressure on the radial nerve of the forearm. The entrapment or compression occurs frequently in the proximal forearm in the radial tunnel; a narrow space formed by muscles, bone, and tendon near the elbow joint.

  • Little League ElbowLittle League Elbow

    Little league elbow, also called medial apophysitis, is an overuse condition that occurs when there is overstress or injury to the inside portion of the elbow. It is commonly seen in children involved in sports activities that require repetitive throwing such as baseball.

Elbow Anatomy

The elbow is a complex joint formed by the articulation of three bones – the humerus, radius, and ulna. The elbow joint helps in bending or straightening of the arm to 180 degrees and lifting or moving objects.

The bones of the elbow are supported by:

  • Ligaments and tendons
  • Muscles
  • Nerves
  • Blood vessels

Bones and Joints of the Elbow

The elbow joint is formed at the junction of three bones:

  • The humerus (upper arm bone) forms the upper portion of the joint. The lower end of the humerus divides into two bony protrusions known as the medial and lateral epicondyles, which can be felt on either side of the elbow joint.
  • The ulna is the larger bone of the forearm located on the inner surface of the joint. It articulates with the humerus.
  • The radius is the smaller bone of the forearm situated on the outer surface of the joint. The head of the radius is circular and hollow, which allows movement with the humerus. The articulation between the ulna and radius helps the forearm to rotate.

The elbow consists of three joints, namely:

  • The humeroulnar joint is formed between the humerus and ulna and allows flexion and extension of the arm.
  • The humeroradial joint is formed between the radius and humerus and allows movements like flexion, extension, supination, and pronation.
  • The radioulnar joint is formed between the ulna and radius bones and allows rotation of the lower arm.

Articular cartilage lines the articulating regions of the humerus, radius, and ulna. It is a thin, tough, flexible and slippery surface that acts as a shock absorber and cushion to reduce friction between the bones. The cartilage is lubricated with synovial fluid, which further enables the smooth movement of the bones.

Muscles of the Elbow Joint

There are several muscles extending across the elbow joint that help in various movements. These include the following:

  • Biceps brachii: Upper arm muscle, enabling flexion of the arm
  • Triceps brachii: Muscle in the back of the upper arm that extends the arm and fixes the elbow during fine movements
  • Brachialis: Upper arm muscle beneath the biceps, which flexes the elbow towards the body
  • Brachioradialis: Forearm muscle that flexes, straightens and pulls the arm at the elbow
  • Pronator teres: Muscle that extends from the humeral head, across the elbow, and towards the ulna, and helps to turn the palm facing backward
  • Extensor carpi radialis brevis: Forearm muscle that helps in movement of the hand
  • Extensor digitorum: Forearm muscle that helps in movement of the fingers

Ligaments and Tendons of the Elbow

The elbow joint is supported by ligaments and tendons, which provide stability to the joint.

Ligaments are a group of firm tissues that connect bones to other bones. The most important ligaments of the elbow joint are the:

  • Medial or ulnar collateral ligament: Comprised of triangular bands of tissue on the inner side of the elbow joint
  • Lateral or radial collateral ligament: A thin band of tissue on the outer side of the elbow joint
  • Annular ligament: Group of fibers that surround the radial head, and hold the ulna and radius tightly in place during movement of the arm

Together, the medial and lateral ligaments are the main source of stability and hold the humerus and ulna tightly in place during movement of the arm.

The ligaments around a joint combine to form a joint capsule that contains synovial fluid.

Any injury to these ligaments can lead to instability of the elbow joint.

Tendons are bands of connective tissue fibers that connect muscle to bone. The various tendons that surround the elbow joint include:

  • Biceps tendon: attaches the biceps muscle to the radius, allowing the elbow to bend
  • Triceps tendon: attaches the triceps muscle to the ulna, allowing the elbow to straighten

Nerves of the Elbow

The main nerves of the elbow joint are the ulnar, radial and median nerves. These nerves transfer signals from the brain to the muscles that aid in elbow movements. They also carry sensory signals such as touch, pain, and temperature back to the brain.

Any injury or damage to these nerves causes pain, weakness or joint instability.

Blood Vessels Supplying the Elbow

Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-pure blood from the heart to the hand. The main artery of the elbow is the brachial artery that travels across the inside of the elbow and divides into two small branches below the elbow to form the ulnar and the radial artery.

  • Elbow ArthroscopyElbow Arthroscopy

    Elbow arthroscopy, also referred to as keyhole or minimally invasive surgery, is a surgical procedure that is performed through tiny incisions to evaluate and treat several elbow conditions.

  • Elbow Ligament ReconstructionElbow Ligament Reconstruction

    Ligament reconstruction is considered in patients with ligament rupture. Your surgeon will make an incision over the elbow. Care is taken to move muscles, tendons, and nerves out of the way.

  • UCL Reconstruction (Tommy John Surgery)UCL Reconstruction (Tommy John Surgery)

    Commonly called Tommy John surgery, this procedure involves reconstructing a damaged ligament on the inside of the elbow called the ulnar or medial collateral ligament with a tendon graft obtained from your own body or a donor.

  • Tennis Elbow SurgeryTennis Elbow Surgery

    Tennis elbow is a common name for the elbow condition lateral epicondylitis. It is an overuse injury that causes inflammation and microtears of the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle.

  • Elbow Tendon and Ligament RepairElbow Tendon and Ligament Repair

    Ligament reconstruction is considered to treat ligament rupture. Your surgeon will make an incision over the elbow. Care is taken to move muscles, tendons, and nerves out of the way.

  • Golfer's Elbow SurgeryGolfer's Elbow Surgery

    Golfer’s elbow is a condition associated with pain on the inside of the elbow where tendons of your forearm attach to the bony prominence (medial epicondyle). It is also called medial epicondylitis and is caused by injury or irritation to the tendons which can become painful and swollen.

  • Elbow Fracture ReconstructionElbow Fracture Reconstruction

    Elbow fracture reconstruction is a surgical procedure employed to repair and restore the appearance and full function of a damaged elbow caused by severe trauma or injury.

  • Ulnar Nerve ReleaseUlnar Nerve Release

    Ulnar nerve release, also known as ulnar nerve decompression, is a surgical procedure to treat a medical condition called ulnar nerve entrapment.

  • Cubital Tunnel Release (Medial Epicondylectomy)Cubital Tunnel Release (Medial Epicondylectomy)

    Cubital tunnel release is a surgical procedure to correct cubital tunnel syndrome.Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition characterized by compression of the ulnar nerve in an area of the elbow called the cubital tunnel.

  • Open Elbow SurgeryOpen Elbow Surgery

    Open elbow surgery is an operative procedure performed to treat certain conditions of your elbow through a large, open cut (incision) in the skin using a scalpel.

  • Malunion Surgery (Elbow)Malunion Surgery (Elbow)

    Malunion, also known as crooked healing, is the failure of a fractured bone to rejoin properly due to poor alignment of the fracture fragments. The condition results in abnormality and deformity of the bone (bent or twisted bone).

Elbow Patient Education Videos

If you wish to be advised on the most appropriate treatment, please call to schedule an appointment or click to request an appointment online.

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