Elbow Conditions and Treatments

Elbow anatomy imageUlnar Collateral Ligament Injury

The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is located on the inside of the elbow joint.  This injury is prevalent in baseball pitchers and can be caused by bad biomechanics and overuse.  Treatment options vary from physical therapy to surgical reconstruction (Tommy John surgery).

Cartilage Injury and Loose Bodies

Osteochondritis dissecans (CD) can involve the bone and cartilage of the elbow joint.  OCD can be a result of mid recurrent injuries, or growth disturbances.  OCD can become loose bodies within the joint and cause joint pain, stiffness, and even locking of the joint.  OCD and loose bodies cause range of motion to be limited and would most likely benefit from elbow arthroscopy.

Lateral Epicondylitis

Lateral epicondylitis is an inflammation of the end of the humerus bone.  Better known as “tennis elbow”, this localized pain on the outside of the elbow can be caused by repetitive overuse activities. 

Medial Epicondylitis

Medial epicondylitis is an inflammation of the end of the humerus bone.  Commonly referred to as “golfer’s elbow”, this pain is localized on the inside of the elbow and can be caused by overuse activities – most commonly golf.

Elbow Treatments

Arthroscopic Surgery

SIU Shoulder & Sports Medicine surgeons are experts in minimally invasive surgical techniques including arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder, knee, hip and elbow.  Combining state-of-the-art equipment and the most modern surgical techniques, our surgeons are able to provide patients with excellent outcomes with minimal tissue damage, decreased pain and earlier return to function.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is blood plasma with concentrated platelets.  These platelets contain bioactive proteins that initiate the healing of connective tissue such as bone, tendons and ligaments.  PRP can be injected throughout the body which can help with sports injuries including tennis elbow, hamstring injuries, athletic pubalgia, calf strains and other damaged tendons or ligaments. 

Patients see significant improvement immediately when paired with a rehabilitation program which may eliminate the need for aggressive treatments such as long-term medication or surgery.