Redwood Orthopaedic Surgery Associates provides a full scope of orthopaedic services of the elbow including:
The elbow joint is composed of three bones: the ulna, radius, and humerus. When a person falls on their elbow or arm, fractures around the joint can occur. Elbow fractures are more common in children. They often occur after falls from the “monkey bars”. The radial head is the most common bone that is fractured.
Many fractures of the elbow, especially fractures in children, are treated without surgery. A splint or cast and activity modifications are all that is needed for these fractures. However, when the fractured pieces are out of position (displaced), angulated (crooked), or involve a large portion of the joint surface, surgery is indicated.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome causes pain and numbness as a result of long-term nerve compression. In cubital tunnel syndrome, the ulnar nerve (the “funny bone” nerve) is affected as it passes through a narrow tunnel on the inside of the elbow. Irritation of the nerve may occur as a result of frequent bending of the elbow or simply from the natural anatomy of the elbow joint.
Patients with this condition often experience pain and numbness on the inside (small finger side) of the forearm and hand, especially after the elbow has been bent for a long period of time. Your doctor can diagnose this condition through a physical exam and nerve conduction tests.
Treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome may involve nighttime elbow splints, therapy, or lifestyle changes to relieve symptoms. For symptoms that do not respond to non-surgical methods, surgery may be needed to relieve pressure on the ulnar nerve.
Arthroscopy is a type of surgery that uses a small fiber-optic camera to visualize areas around a joint. Elbow arthroscopy involves making 4 to 6 small (1/4 inch) incisions around the elbow. Elbow arthroscopy allows the surgeon to work in the elbow joint while limiting the amount of dissection (cutting) needed to access the joint. Elbow arthroscopy can be used to help diagnose painful elbows, remove loose bodies in the joint, free up stiff elbows, and treat some forms of elbow arthritis. Elbow arthroscopy can also be used to help treat some elbow fractures. Essentially, elbow arthroscopy is a good tool to “clean up” the elbow joint.