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5 Painful Elbow Injuries

5 Painful Elbow Injuries

Elbow injuries can be just as serious as an injury to any other major joint, and radiating pain should never be taken lightly. If you’re experiencing persistent elbow pain, it might be a sign that you should consult an expert. 

At The Institute for Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht evaluates elbow injuries as an experienced sports medicine doctor in San Francisco. Residents can benefit from his expertise in performing elbow arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgical technique that can repair many different types of elbow injuries.  

Anatomy of the elbow

Your elbow contains a hinge joint, just like your knees, fingers, and toes. Unlike ball-in-socket joints like your hip and shoulder, which allow rotation, hinge joints offer flexion along one plane, meaning they only open and close one way. 

Both are necessary in biomechanics, and have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Hinge joints are more stable, while ball-in-socket joints are more mobile. 

However, like all joints, your elbow consists of many connecting bones, tissues, and tendons, all working together to provide motion. If any individual part is damaged, it can lead to pain and inflammation of the entire joint. 

Common elbow injuries 

There are nearly limitless ways you can injure your elbow, from fractures to overuse. That said, here are five painful injuries that are best handled by an expert.

1. Ulnar nerve entrapment 

Your “funny bone” isn’t actually a bone at all, but an exposed nerve. The ulnar nerve is one of the three primary nerves in your arm, and its placement can cause it to become entrapped in the cubital tunnel within your elbow.

2. Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is common among tennis players, hence the name, but anyone can suffer from this inflamed tendon. Tennis elbow is caused by years of maintaining a tight grip, especially when you’re enduring force (such as the impact of a tennis ball against the racket).

3. Thrower’s elbow 

Throwing sports, such as baseball and football, put tremendous pressure on every part of your arm. Thrower’s shoulder usually manifests in the upper arm, while thrower’s elbow causes pain in the middle and lower arm. 

4. Loose bone fragments 

Think of your joints like gears; if a pebble gets caught inside a moving part, it can grind away at everything inside. Luckily, loose fragments can be easily found and removed using arthroscopic surgery. 

5. Golfer’s elbow 

Like tennis and thrower’s elbow, golfer’s elbow is aptly named after the sport it’s associated with. When the golf club makes impact with the ball or ground, it puts immense pressure on the inside of your elbow, sometimes causing small tears and inflammation. 

How a San Francisco sports medicine doctor can help 

Sports medicine isn’t just for athletes. Injuries to your joints and muscles are best handled by doctors with experience in that specific area. Dr. Jeffery Halbrecht, a sports medicine surgeon in San Francisco, specializes in joint injuries of all kinds. 

If your elbow pain isn’t responding to home remedies, such as bed rest and OTC medication, schedule a consultation at IASM. As an orthopedic surgeon in San Francisco, Dr. Halbrecht can diagnose the exact cause, and help you decide what treatment plan works best for you. You can get in touch by calling 415-230-3667, or book an appointment online

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