EmergeOrtho—Blue Ridge Region’s elbow specialists understand the fine intricacies of the elbow—a complex assembly of bones, tendons, muscles, and nerves. Our board-certified experts deliver the highest-quality elbow care using the latest nonsurgical and surgical techniques and tools.
With in-house precision diagnostic tools, like digital X-rays and MRIs, our doctors get real-time, detailed images of your elbow to detect injuries and conditions that affect your elbow’s function and cause pain. Whether you are experiencing a chronic ache or an accidental elbow injury, we are here to get you back to the activities you love without pain and reduced performance.
Understanding the Elbow’s Anatomy
Your elbow is not just a hinge; it is a complex combination of bone, cartilage, ligaments, and fluid that enables various movements. Muscles and tendons help the elbow joint move. When any of these structures is hurt or damaged, you may have elbow pain and dysfunction. While people often associate elbow issues with athletes, elbow injuries can often happen to children, seniors, and workers, too. Our certified elbow professionals are completely versed in how a well-functioning elbow should look and feel.
Common Elbow Injuries We Treat
Your elbow is one of the most frequently exercised and most stressed joints in your body, making it more at risk for injury and a number of painful orthopedic conditions. At EmergeOrtho, we treat a wide range of elbow and arm conditions, including:
- Bursitis: A condition caused when the small cushioning sac (bursa) in the elbow becomes inflamed, often due to repetitive motion or trauma.
- Elbow Pain, Swelling, Tingling, and Numbness: These symptoms can arise from various causes, including inflammation, nerve compression, or injury.
- Pitcher’s Elbow: Often seen in athletes who perform repetitive throwing actions, this strain or tear occurs in the inner tendon of the elbow.
- Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow injury): An inflammation of the tendons on the outer elbow, this pain usually results from repetitive wrist and arm motions.
- Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow): This inflammation of the tendons on the inner side of the elbow is often caused by repetitive wrist flexing.
- Distal bicep injury: This tear in the bicep tendon at the elbow can result in significant pain and weakness.
- Ulnar Neuropathy: Pressure or damage to the ulnar nerve can cause tingling, numbness, and pain.
- Fractures: Broken bones in the elbow or forearm are often an injury from a fall or trauma.
Comprehensive Nonsurgical Elbow Treatments
After a precision diagnosis, we prefer to use one of a number of nonsurgical conservative treatments as a first step in treating your elbow injury, including:
- R.I.C.E Protocol: The Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation combination is an effective treatment for immediate care after an elbow injury.
- Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, are frequently prescribed to ease pain and inflammation.
- Bracing & Support: Specialized elbow braces can provide support, reduce pain, stabilize the joint, and prevent further injuries.
- Occupational Intervention: Guidance on optimizing your workspace, ensuring minimized strain on the elbow during daily tasks, can often reduce and prevent elbow injuries.
- Rehabilitation: Our team of skilled physical therapists develops a personalized exercise and regimen tailored to your specific needs, aiming to restore strength, flexibility, and functionality.
- Therapeutic Injections: For conditions resistant to other treatments, injections like corticosteroids or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can often help reduce pain and inflammation.
Advanced Surgical Interventions for Injuries to Your Elbow
When nonsurgical, conservative treatments do not reduce your pain or improve your mobility, our elbow specialists may discuss whether you would be a good candidate for minimally invasive and/or full surgery. Our elbow team has performed hundreds of procedures and surgeries, including:
- Repair Biceps Tendon Ruptures at Elbow: The bicep muscle is attached to the forearm by the bicep tendon. A rupture in this tendon can be severely debilitating. The repair procedure involves a surgical reattachment of this tendon using sutures.
- Cubital Tunnel Release: Ulnar neuropathy is often described as tingling, numbness, or elbow pain. The cubital tunnel release procedure involves creating more space for the nerve, reducing pressure, and alleviating symptoms.
- Elbow Arthroscopy: This minimally invasive procedure uses a small camera called an arthroscope inserted through tiny incisions, allowing surgeons a detailed look at the inside of the joint to diagnose and treat conditions like arthritis.
- Ligament Reconstruction: Elbows can sometimes become unstable or “loose,” often due to ligament damage. Ligament reconstruction, also known as Tommy John surgery, involves replacing the damaged ligament with a tendon from another part of your body to increase stability and strength.
- Operative Fixation of Elbow Fractures: Fractures are traumatic and need precision care. This surgical procedure involves aligning the fractured bone fragments and fixing them in place using devices like pins, plates, or screws. This fixation ensures the bone heals in the correct alignment.
The elbow team at EmergeOrtho—Blue Ridge Region not only diagnoses and treats elbow injuries and conditions, but we are also committed to helping you prevent future issues. Routine consultations with our orthopedists can help you stay ahead of potential elbow issues before they escalate into severe problems. Request an Appointment today and Emerge Stronger, Healthier, and Better with our elbow specialists.