Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint in the body, and although it is more common in weight bearing joints, the elbow can be affected. If you are experiencing chronic elbow pain that impacts your range of motion and ability to do certain tasks, see your physician to determine if osteoarthritis could be blame. A range of treatments, including noninvasive options and robotic surgery, is available and help get you out of pain and back to your normal activities.
What is osteoarthritis of the elbow?
As explained in the video, osteoarthritis occurs in the elbow for the same reason it occurs in other joints. When the cartilage in the joint degenerates, it allows the bones to rub together or bump into each other, causing pains. Bone spurs may also develop.
Cartilage degeneration can occur because of an injury or because of joint overuse. Often, injuries that cause osteoarthritis happen many years before the arthritis actually appears. Overuse injuries can also take years to develop, which is why osteoarthritis is more common later in life.
What are the symptoms?
Osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in the elbow. In early stages, you may only notice the pain when you are moving your elbow. However, osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, and the pain will become worse over time until you feel it even when you are at rest.
Swelling is also common, as is hearing creaks and squeaks when the joint moves. It often becomes difficult to bend and straighten the arm when osteoarthritis gets worse.
What treatment options are available?
Steroid injections and pain medications are successful in reducing osteoarthritis symptoms in some people. Activity modification and physical therapy are also helpful for some people.
When noninvasive treatments don’t provide adequate relief, surgery may be necessary. There are many different procedure options, including minimally invasive and robotic procedures, such as joint debridement and elbow joint replacement.
Don’t let osteoarthritis pain keep you from doing the things you love. At Riverside Community Hospital, we offer comprehensive orthopedic and joint replacement procedures and cutting-edge robotic surgery. Contact our hospital in Riverside at (951) 788-3463 for a referral to a specialist.