The various types of elbow injuries & their symptoms
The elbow is one of the most important joints of the body and it helps us to move our arms. Injuries that can affect the elbow are diverse in their nature and must be treated quickly so as to prevent major complications.
Below is a list of elbow injuries that can cause serious pain and discomfort.
Acute Elbow Injuries:
Acute elbow injuries can be caused by sporting activities or other mishaps and they mostly last for a period of less than two weeks. In some cases, direct trauma is responsible for the pain and can be caused by a tendon rupture, a fracture or a dislocation. The pain is usually highly localized and the cause of injury is quite apparent. Pain may be accompanied by bruising and swelling. In some extreme cases there may also be loss of standard elbow functions.
Elbow dislocation is widely regarded as a highly acute form of elbow injury. It can result from accidentally falling on an extended or outstretched arm due to some kind of contact sport. In some instances it can also be caused by falling from a height. Patients mostly experience immediate loss of movement in the elbow and develop acute pain. The elbow joint may also become deformed. Medical experts focus on realignment of the elbow joint and management of the pain and treatment of the elbow is mostly carried out in a clinic. X-rays may be required to detect signs of fracture.
Bicep tendon rupture:
Rupturing of a bicep tendon typically occurs amongst older athletes. The patient may experience sharp pains along with muscle tearing. The acute injury can also be exacerbated by repetitive lifting. Contraction of muscles in the bicep is also another major sign of biceps tendon rupture. In most cases, surgery is recommended for proper treatment.
Elbow fractures lead to acute pains, bruising and swelling and may even lead to joint deformity. It is important that elbow fractures are diagnosed and treated early to reduce the chance of long term complications like chronic stiffness and loss of motion in the elbow. Falling on the outstretched hand or any kind of direct trauma can lead to proximal ulnar fracture. Elbow dislocations often accompany fractures affecting the elbow joint. Pain felt in the elbow flexion can indicate fracturing of the distal humerus. Sometimes the fractures can also lead to serious damage to blood vessels and nerves around the upper extremities. The patient may experience sensations of tingling and numbness. Surgery is the main form of treatment in these cases.
Arthritis is associated with chronic joint pains. In most cases, the types of arthritis that affect the elbow include posttraumatic arthritis (PA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). OA is caused by calcification of the cartilage in the elbow joint. OA mostly affects older aged people and causes pain and stiffness, as well as restricted motion. Rheumatoid arthritis or RA leads to pain along with symmetrical swelling of numerous joints. It may also cause joint deformity.