Elbow Injuries We Specialize In Treating.
Tendons are the firm and elastic structures that link muscles to the bone that they attach to. These are dynamic, hard-working structures that routinely endure tremendous amounts of stress, especially with athletic activities. When over-used or injured (or even without a known cause), tendons can become inflamed, painful, and frustratingly limited (known as Tendonitis). In many cases, the site of inflammation is at the point where the tendon attaches to the bone.
Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is inflammation of the forearm muscle tendons at their insertion on the lateral (outside) part of the elbow. Tennis elbow presents as pain and tenderness directly over the lateral epicondyle, a palpable bony bump. Accompanying symptoms may include weakness, numbness, and stiffness. Tennis elbow makes it difficult for patients to grab objects, make a fist, shake hands, and/or turn doorknobs and food container tops. The cause of tennis elbow is overuse. Sports and activities that increase the risk of tennis elbow include:
- Manual labor
The arm and forearm bones come together to form the elbow joint. Many strong forearm muscle tendons insert on the medial (inside) part of the elbow joint. The inflammation of these tendons is called golfer’s elbow or medial epicondylitis. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, weakness, numbness, and stiffness. Symptoms present over the bony bump on the elbow. Symptoms typically increase when making a fist and grabbing an object. The most common cause of golfer’s elbow is overuse of the forearm during:
- Club and racquet sports (golf, tennis, baseball)
- Throwing sports
- Manual labor
Biceps Tendon Tear
The bicep is a medium size muscle on the front of the arm. The bicep has two tendons. The proximal bicep tendon attaches to the shoulder. The distal bicep tendon attaches to the elbow. Both tendons can tear. Tears may be partial or complete.
- Proximal bicep tendon tear. The proximal bicep tendon is the more commonly torn. The causes of a tear are injury (typically a fall on an outstretched hand) and overuse. A sudden, sharp pain immediately presents. A loud snap or pop may be heard. Bruising, tenderness, weakness, and a visible anatomical deformity present shortly after the injury.
- Distal bicep tendon tear. Distal bicep tendon tears are uncommon. The cause of a tear is almost always lifting an object that is too heavy. An audible pop followed by severe pain occurs. Swelling, bruising, weakness, and a visible anatomic deformity are seen shortly after the injury.
Elbow Fractures, Breaks & Sprains
Three bones join to form the elbow joint. Strong ligaments connect the humerus (arm bone), radius (large forearm bone) and ulna (small forearm bone). The elbow joint is very important because it moves the arm and forearm.
Elbow injuries are common. An elbow fracture, break, and sprain should be seen by an Orthopedic Institute of Central Jersey (OIOCJ) specialist. The following are common causes of an elbow fracture, break, and sprain:
- Direct blows
Pain, swelling, bruising, and stiffness are common symptoms. OIOCJ specialists analyze symptoms, perform an elbow examination, and order and analyze medical imaging studies (x-rays and possibly an MRI) to diagnose elbow fractures, breaks, and sprains. An accurate diagnosis leads to effective treatment.
Ulnar Nerve Injuries
The elbow is a hinge joint. The humerus (arm bone), radius (large forearm bone), and ulna (small forearm bone) join to form the elbow joint. Ligaments hold the bones together. The ulnar ligament is a ligament on the lateral (outside) part of the elbow.
The ulnar ligament is susceptible to injury. A great deal of stress is placed on the ulnar ligament when throwing motions are performed. Overhead throwing athletes are most at risk to sustain an ulnar ligament injury. An injury can range from mild inflammation and irritation to a complete tear.
Pain is the most common symptom of an ulnar ligament injury. Pain usually gets worse when an object is gripped or a fist is made. Swelling and bruising are symptoms of a complete tear. Decreased range of motion and decreased performance are common.
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