10. October 2016 10:42
Osteoarthritis refers to the wear and tear of the protective cartilage layer in the elbow joint that covers the bones as well as prevents them from rubbing against each other. It is more commonly seen in men and the symptoms are mostly seen after 50 years of age. Being a degenerative disorder, Osteoarthritis progresses with time and may result in permanent disability.
- Previous injuries such as fractures or dislocations of the joint
- Wear and tear of the joint parts due to aging
- Sports, such as baseball, which involve excessive use of the elbow may wear out the ligament structure
- Family history of Osteoarthritis may increase the chances of its development
- Pain in the joint and arm
- Significant loss of range of motion
- The patient may feel a grating or cracking sensation when the joint is moved
- A feeling of the joint ‘locking’ due to displaced bones
- Tingling and numbness
- Tenderness and swelling
- Development of bone spurs
- The joint feels unstable
- Lifting and carrying heavy objects becomes difficult
- Weakened grasping ability
- Analysis of the patient’s symptoms, medical history and previous elbow surgeries, if any
- Palpation and range of motion tests may be done to check for the extent of degeneration
- X-ray imaging to determine the changes in bone structure and rule out fracture or dislocation
- MRI and CT scan to assess the damage to soft tissue structures
- Prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs by an orthopedic doctor
- Rest the affected arm and avoid any strenuous activities
- Injecting corticosteroids may be an option to provide relief from severe pain
- Viscosupplementation - Certain fluids may be injected into the joint to improve mobility and prevent rubbing of bones
- Physical therapy may help to restore strength, flexibility and range of motion
- Arthroscopy, which is a minimally invasive process, may be performed to remove damaged parts, bone spurs and debris from the joint
- Arthroplasty - Surgical joint replacement in case the elbow has been severely damaged
- Cartilage or bone grafting may be required to restore functionality of the joint
OrthoTexas provides treatment for Osteoarthritis of the Elbow and other medical conditions. To schedule an appointment with the elbow doctors in Plano, TX, you can call at (972) 985 – 1072 or visit 4031 West Plano Parkway, Suite 100, Plano, TX 75093.
11. March 2016 10:30
The elbow joint comprises of three main bones - the proximal radius, proximal ulna and the distal humerus. The radial head is the upper part of the radius, one of the two bones that form the forearm. A break, crack or displacement in this part of the elbow joint is termed as the Radial Head Fracture. Such fractures can be classified into categories based on their severity:
- Type 1- These are small fractures or cracks which may not even be visible in X-rays. The bone remains intact and no displacement occurs
- Type 2- May involve slight displacement and a larger part of the bone may have been damaged
- Type 3- The bone is broken into multiple pieces and is largely displaced. Such injuries are serious and are accompanied by damage to the soft tissues as well as ligaments
- Direct hit or trauma to the elbow joint
- Falling on an outstretched hand
- Sports injury
- Swelling on the outer part of the elbow
- Pain which can be acute
- Inability to move the arm, wrist or straighten the elbow
- Visible deformity may occur in case of type 3 fracture
- Tenderness in the injured part
- The forearm, hands and fingers may turn pale or numb
- Detailed physical examination of the injured arm and symptoms
- The elbow doctor may ask for details regarding the time and mode of injury
- The doctor may palpate the injured elbow to check for deformity
- Examination of the arm, wrist and fingers for loss of function or nerve sensation
- X-ray images may be required to assess the severity and exact location of damage
- MRI scans may be recommended in case the doctor suspects soft tissue or ligament injury
- Prescription of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs for immediate relief
- Application of ice packs during the first 24-48 hours of injury may reduce pain and swelling
- The injured arms should be rested by keeping it elevated
- Use of a splint or sling may be recommended for a stipulated time period
- Avoid moving the injured elbow joint and give it adequate rest
- Joint aspiration- use of a syringe to drain out excess fluids if they accumulate in or near the joint
- Surgical intervention may be required to remove bone pieces if they restrict joint movement
- Screws, wires and plates may be used internally or externally to reposition the displaced bone
- Surgery may be conducted for soft tissue or ligament damage if detected
- Surgical replacement with an artificial radial head in case of severe damage
- Specific range of motion exercises may be recommended to combat stiffness and restore flexibility of the joint
OrthoTexas provides comprehensive treatment for radial head fracture and other elbow problems. To schedule an appointment with our elbow doctors in Plano, TX, call at (972) 985 – 1072.
21. May 2015 10:43
Elbow is a complex hinge joint formed between the distal end of the humerus in the upper arm and the proximal ends of the ulna and radius in the forearm. It provides an extensive range of motion to the arm and helps it to move forward, backward and in rotation. Overuse or repetitive strain on the muscles and ligaments joining these bones can lead to elbow pain. People who play racquet sports, do typing work or indulge in activities that involve repetitive use of arm and shoulder are more susceptible to elbow pain.
- Lack of strength in the shoulder muscles
- Lack of flexibility or strength in forearm muscles
- Using inappropriate sports equipment, such as playing with a heavy weight tennis racquet
- Instability of the elbow joint
- Poor technique while playing sports such as golf or tennis
- Excessive strain on the elbow
- Repetitive movements of the hands, arms and shoulders
- Lifting too heavy weights or without proper technique
- Arthritis, Bursitis or elbow dislocation
- Fall from a height
- Direct blow to the elbow
- Dull and persistent pain in the elbow and arm
- Pain while trying to make a fist
- Visible bump or deformity around the elbow joint
- Difficulty in grasping objects
- Difficulty bending or straightening the arm
- Locking sensation in the elbow
- Swelling, bruising or redness around the elbow
To diagnose elbow pain, the orthopedic doctor may physically examine the joint to evaluate the range of motion and check for swelling or tenderness. He may also conduct certain imaging tests to examine the exact cause of elbow pain.
Depending upon the cause and severity of your symptoms, the orthopedic doctor may suggest one or more of the following treatment options:
- Rest: The patient may be asked to give sufficient rest to his arms, shoulders and avoid doing any activities that put strain on the elbow. This will allow the muscles to relax and heal with time.
- Ice Packs: Applying ice on the affected area can help to reduce swelling and ease the symptoms of elbow pain.
- Medications: The orthopedic doctor may also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to provide relief from pain and reduce swelling.
- Elbow Brace: Wearing an elbow brace may help to provide support to the affected joint while restricting its movement and avoiding any pressure.
- Surgery: This is usually a last resort to treat elbow pain caused due to some underlying orthopedic condition.
For complete diagnosis and treatment of elbow pain, visit OrthoTexas, Plano. To schedule an appointment with our elbow doctor, you can call at (972) 985 – 1072.
16. April 2015 14:40
The elbow joint, responsible for movement of the forearm, consists of three bones humerus, ulna, and radius. Elbow fracture results due to injury or hard blow that results in breaking or cracking any of the three bones. The condition is often classified as non-displaced, displaced, comminuted or open depending upon the type of breakage.
Some of the common causes of elbow fracture include
- A direct blow to the elbow
- Falling on the elbow
- A motor accident
- Landing on outstretched arm with elbow locked out straight
- Intense pain
- Inability to straighten elbow
- Pieces of bones sticking out of skin
- A pop sound heard at the time of injury
The patient with an elbow fracture will need to visit the orthopedic doctor as soon as possible as the pain often becomes unbearable. The surgeon may examine the skin to see any bone protrusions or risk of infection. The orthopedic doctor can also recommend imaging tests such as X-ray, MRI, CT scan and bone scans to check the extent of displacement.
The orthopedic doctor will determine a treatment method depending on the severity of the condition. He can administer medication; use ice, a splint or a cast to keep the elbow in a stationary position while it heals.
The surgeon will opt for surgery if non-surgical treatments are not working or if the injury is very severe. An open fracture involves a high risk of infection and it becomes necessary to treat it surgically as quickly as possible. Surgery is performed under anesthesia and the surgeon makes an incision to join the pieces of bone together. The surgeon may use pins or wires, plates, screws and sutures in the bone to join them. If the bone is severely damaged then bone filler may also be required.
Post surgery you may need to undergo a proper rehabilitation program to regain motion and return to normal activities. The orthopedic surgeon can recommend you to physical therapists who can help you restore the movement in the elbow. You may be recommended to not put pressure on the joint and lift anything heavy for a certain period of time.
Being careful and avoiding high impact on the joint can prevent elbow fracture. While playing sport or indulging in a strenuous activity you must wear protective gears to avoid blow to the elbow.
18. March 2015 08:06
The elbow is a complex joint that connects the lower arm to the upper arm. It is composed of three main bones, namely the ulna, humerus and radius that join together to help you bend, rotate or straighten the arm. Elbow Arthritis is a painful condition causing damage to the cartilage that covers these bones. There are three major types of Arthritis that affects the elbow joint, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Post Traumatic Arthritis.
- Age related wear and tear
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries to the elbow
- History of recurrent elbow injuries
- Elbow dislocation or fracture
- Intense pain and inflammation
- Difficulty bending or stretching out the arm
- Decreased range of motion
- Joint instability and weakness
- Locking or catching of the elbow
- Pain increase with movement or lifting
To diagnose Elbow Arthritis, the orthopedic doctor will physically evaluate the joint to look for any visible signs of injury or damage. He may also ask you to move your elbow to analyze the range of motion. Certain imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI scans, can also be helpful to evaluate the extent of damage caused by the condition.
Depending upon the type and severity of the condition, the elbow doctor may suggest the following treatment options:
- Activity Modification: The patient may be asked to avoid indulging in activities that put strain on the joint. Taking adequate rest between periods of exercise can also help relieve pressure.
- Anti-Inflammatory Medications: The orthopedic doctor may prescribe certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to provide relief from pain caused due to Elbow Arthritis.
- Heat Or Ice Packs: Applying hot pack on the affected joint can help relax and loosen the stiff muscles. Ice is usually effective to reduce swelling caused due to over-indulgence in activities.
- Physical Therapy: Gentle stretching exercises, as prescribed by the physical therapist, may also help in easing pain. Elbow brace or splints can also be worn to provide support during any physical activity.
If the symptoms do not subside with non-surgical interventions, the patient may be recommended to undergo surgery. The orthopedic surgeon may decide on the surgery after considering the type of Elbow Arthritis, severity, activity requirements, patient’s fitness levels etc.
For complete diagnosis and treatment of Elbow Arthritis, visit OrthoTexas, Plano. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeons, you can call at (972) 985 – 1072.
18. November 2014 09:19
Olecranon Bursitis is a common medical condition with symptoms like inflammation and swelling in the Bursa. Bursa is a small fluid filled sac located at the outer portion of the elbow which provides a soft covering to the elbow and allows for smooth movements when straightening or bending the joint. Inflammation can cause the Bursa to produce more fluid and thus form a painful bubble at the tip of the elbow.
The condition is also known as ‘Water Elbow’, ‘Baker’s Elbow’ or Student Elbow’. At OrthoTexas, Plano, TX, we provide complete diagnosis and treatment to the patients suffering from Olecranon Bursitis.
- Trauma: A direct or indirect blow to the elbow tip can cause the Bursa to swell and produce more fluid.
- Prolonged pressure: Resting on the elbow tip for long hours on hard surfaces, like a tabletop, may also cause this condition. People with certain occupations, such as technicians or plumbers, are more at risk as they have to lean on their elbows for long periods.
- Other medical conditions: People with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Gout are also more prone to develop Olecranon Bursitis.
- Swelling at elbow tip
- Stiffness of the joint
- Pain when the elbow comes in contact with anything
- Restricted movement of the elbow
- A bubble, which may or may not be red, protruding out of the elbow
- Fever, in rare cases
The orthopedic doctor will physically examine the symptoms and the medical history of the patient. He may also recommend certain imaging tests, such as X-rays, to rule out the possibility of any other problem.
The orthopedic doctors at OrthoTexas prefer to treat Olecranon Bursitis using non-surgical techniques which may include:
- Elbow Pads: This helps by providing a cushioning to support the elbow.
- Medications: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can also help to reduce pain and swelling.
- Activity modification: Avoiding activities that puts strain on the elbow can also help relieve the symptoms.
- Injections: If the symptoms do not begin to subside even after a few weeks, the orthopedic doctor may prescribe injecting steroid medications directly into the Bursa.
Surgery may be recommended in severe cases of Olecranon Bursitis. If the Bursa has been infected, the doctor may remove the Bursa to allow the formation of a new and normal one over time. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic doctors at OrthoTexas, Plano, you can call at (972) 985-1072
21. August 2014 13:22
Elbow dislocation occurs when any bone that forms the particular joint displaces from its normal position. Though elbow dislocation is not as common as a shoulder dislocation it is however one of the most frequently dislocated joint of the human body. Elbow dislocation is also a sports related injury that needs to be treated immediately. Coaches and athletes must seek immediate medical attention in case of an elbow dislocation as the condition can be simple or complex depending upon the damage and extent of injury. A simple dislocation does not include any bone injury, whereas, a complex dislocation involves severe damage to the bones, ligaments and blood vessels. If the joint surfaces are partially separated, it is known as subluxation or partial dislocation. In complete dislocation, the surfaces of the joint are completely separated. Though the joint may move back in position in subluxation; however, the complete dislocation needs medical care and procedure.
- Any trauma that pushes the elbow out of socket
- Falling on stretched hand or arm
- Sports activities such as skateboarding, cycling, gymnastics, etc
- Intense pain
- Protruding bones
- Inability to straighten the elbow
- Loss of sensation in the hand
- Deformed elbow
An orthopedic doctor diagnoses elbow dislocation by physically examining the patient and referring to the medical history of the patient. He also checks for any signs of injury to the nerves or blood vessels. Usually to diagnose dislocation or fracture dislocation, an X-ray is recommended. Other imaging tests such as MRI or CT scan are effective in checking out the extent of damage to the joint cartilage, ligaments, bones and other soft tissues.
Depending on the severity of dislocation, orthopedic doctor can treat the elbow dislocation non-surgically and surgically. Often the elbow relocates with time and sometimes, a trained practitioner puts the elbow back in place with a quick jerk. Even a trained medical person can treat the condition at the emergency site, for example at an athletic event. The complex elbow dislocation is usually treated surgically. If the dislocation involves damage to the bones or ligament the orthopedic surgeon may surgically restore alignment and function. The surgeon uses external fixation devices, pins and wires to hold everything together until the elbow is healed and restored properly. With the improvement in the range of motion of elbow, physical therapists recommend certain strengthening exercises which help in rehabilitation and gaining strength. The orthopedic surgeons suggest that the patients avoid putting traction on the elbow during the healing process.
For comprehensive treatment of elbow dislocations, visit OrthoTexas at 4031 West Plano Parkway Suite 100, Plano, TX 75093. To schdule an appointment, call at (972) 985-1072.
15. January 2014 07:06
Bicep Tendonitis, also known as bicipital tendonitis is a serious medical condition that is caused when the main tendon connecting the biceps muscle and shoulder gets inflamed. Although bicep tendonitis is mainly found in people associated with weightlifting, swimming, gymnastics and other sports that involve repetitive strain on the shoulder but according to orthopedic doctors in Plano, everyone is susceptible to this condition. If not treated in time, bicep tendonitis can cause permanent damage to the elbow and forearm.
Read on to know more about the problem.
Causes: Following are a few common causes and risk factors of bicep tendonitis:
- Overuse of the shoulder muscles may lead to bicep tendonitis.
- Older adults with weak tendons are at greater risk of bicep tendonitis.
- Accidents involving injuries to the shoulder can also lead to this condition.
- It has been proven that certain shoulder problems like rotator cuff tears, shoulder joint instability and tendon impingement can also lead to bicep tendonitis.
Symptoms: Listed below are a few common symptoms of bicep tendonitis:
- Intense pain in shoulder
- Tenderness in the area
- Inability to lift a heavy object
- Pain in upper arm
- Swelling in the area
- Grating or snapping sound in the shoulder
- Weakness in the arm and shoulder
- Limited range of motion
Diagnosis: It is important to consult an elbow doctor if the aforementioned symptoms are noticed. The doctors will first of all conduct physical examination to study the symptoms. They may also perform imaging tests like X-Ray and MRI to determine the severity of condition and rule out other shoulder related conditions. Other tests that your doctor may perform include:
- Neer test
- Hawkins test
- Yergason test
- Speed test
Treatment: The treatment for bicep tendonitis strictly depends on the diagnostic report. Listed below is a list of treatments that are often recommended by Plano orthopedic doctors:
- Rest: The doctors may advice you to stop all types of physical activities for a few weeks and give complete rest to your body.
- Medication and drugs: Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed by the doctors to alleviate pain and inflammation.
- Therapy: The doctors may also refer you for physical therapy. A range of motion, strengthening and stretching exercises may be recommended by the physical therapist to help you improve the flexibility of shoulder muscles. You may also be referred to an occupational therapist.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgical treatment may be recommended by the doctors.
20. September 2013 10:15
Elbow instability refers to a condition affecting the elbow joint, in which jerky arm movement cause the joint to be dislocated from its original position. This dislocation could be in the form of an outward slide, a pop or a catch. This kind of dislocation results in the surrounding bones and ligaments getting damaged, as they undergo stress to restore stability in the joint. Depending on the bones involved in the dislocation, there can be three types of elbow instabilities:
- Valgus instability: This occurs when a mass of soft tissue within the elbow, referred to as the ulnar collateral ligament, undergoes an injury.
- Posterolateral rotatory instability: This is caused by an injury in a soft tissue structure located outside the elbow, referred to as the lateral collateral ligament complex.
- Varus posteromedial rotatory instability: This instability is caused by a combination of a fracture in the ulna bone, and an injury in the lateral collateral ligament complex, which causes the elbow to slide in and out of its original position.
If you are experience any of the symptoms associated with chronic elbow instability, which include a catching, clicking, locking, popping, pain, etc., you should visit a doctor at OrthoTexas, Plano, for a detailed examination of your elbow. Our clinic has a team of health care professionals, including orthopedic surgeons, spine surgeons, physicians, physical therapists, and occupational therapists, making it a single destination for all your elbow problems.
Your consultation will start with a detailed insight into your symptoms and medical history, after which a physical examination shall be performed to rule out a deformity in the elbow. You will need to move your arm in several directions for your doctor to identify the exact location of the instability. A test for your arm strength will be performed to rule out injury to the nerves. Depending on the severity of your elbow instability, your doctor might recommend imaging tests like an x-ray and an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).
You can discuss various treatment options with your doctor at OrthoTexas. While nonsurgical treatment options are usually effective in treating valgus instabilities, you will probably need to undergo surgery if you are diagnosed with a varus posteromedial instability. In case of posterolateral rotatory instability, you might need surgery if there is chronic stress on the ligament. Milder cases of this type of instability can be treated without surgery.