Elbow - Conditions

Hunter Sports & Joint Replacement


Patients commonly suffer with pain and stiffness around the elbow. The source can be varied, the most common causes are arthritis and previous injury, less commonly nerve entrapment syndrome and tendinopathies can cause significant grief. Most of these can be treated non operatively however when these modalities fail there are surgical solutions.

Occasionally a patient can suffer from instability, in this situation bracing ice rest and physiotherapy are the mainstays of treatment. If this fails there are ligament reconstructive option that can be persued.

Medial UCL Injury & Valgus Instability

Attenuation or rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow leading to valgus instability.
Overhead athletes who place significant valgus stress on their elbows (baseball pitchers).
Relatively uncommon in skeletally immature throwing athletes.
Little leaguers elbow.
Is the more common cause of medial elbow pain with decreased throwing effectiveness and distance.

Posterolateral Elbow Rotatory Instability (PLRI)

Traumatic varus stress may result in isolated injury, but most injuries involve spectrum of pathology following elbow dislocation.

Valgus Extension Overload (Pitcher's Elbow)

A condition characterized by pathology in posteromedial elbow.

Distal Biceps Avulsion

Injury may either be a;

  • complete distal biceps avulsion
  • partial distal biceps avulsion
  • partial distal biceps tendon tears occur primarily on the radial side of the tuberosity footprint.
  • intersubstance muscles transection
  • seen when rope wrapped around arm (tug-of-war)

Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

Overuse injury involving eccentric overload at origin of common extensor tendon.
Leads to tendinosis and inflammation at origin of ECRB.

Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's Elbow)

An overuse syndrome of the flexor-pronator mass.
More difficult to treat than lateral epicondylitis.

Elbow Arthritis

Degenerative joint disease of the elbow articulation. Most common causes are;

  • primary osteoarthritis
  • post-traumatic arthritis
  • inflammatory arthritis (e.g., RA)

Osteochondritis Dissecans of Elbow

A localized injury and subsequent separation of articular cartilage and subchondral bone of the capitellum.

Little League Elbow

Generic adolescent term for medial elbow injury.
Can refer to a continuous spectrum of injuries to medial side of the elbow including;

  • medial epicondyle stress fractures
  • ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries
  • flexor-pronator mass strains

Olecranon Stress Fracture

A rare elbow injury that predominately affects throwing athletes.

Elbow Stiffness and Contractures

Stiffness and contractures of the elbow result in loss of motion and difficulty performing activities of daily living.

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