Many causes of elbow pain are treatable without surgery. Rest, icing the area, stretching, anti-inflammatories and steroid injections are treatment options used to successfully relieve pain. If non-surgical treatment doesn’t relieve your pain, surgery may be the best treatment option. The St. Elizabeth Orthopaedic team have the expertise to diagnose the cause of your elbow pain and recommend the best treatment option.
Some conditions such tendon or muscle tears usually require surgery. Other conditions that may require surgery include:
Conditions such as tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are caused by tendonitis, which results in inflamed tendons from overuse. If symptoms and pain from tennis or golfer’s elbow continue after 6-12 months of non-surgical treatment, surgery may be an option. Your surgeon will remove the inflamed tendons and reattach the healthy ones. The procedure can be open surgery or arthroscopic surgery, a minimally invasive approach that uses tiny incisions and instruments.
Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Injuries
The UCL ligament, also known as the Tommy John ligament, is on the inside of the elbow. Repetitive movement from sports, especially pitching, can cause ligament stretching and tears. The surgery, known as Tommy John surgery, reconstructs the ligament using a donated tendon or one from somewhere else in your body.
Ulnar Nerve Impingement
The “funny bone” is actually the ulnar nerve, which runs in a tunnel called the cubital tunnel on the inside of the elbow. If the nerve becomes trapped it can be painful and cause numbness. Cubital tunnel surgery releases or moves the nerve.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when a nerve to the hand is squeezed in the area of the wrist. It causes numbness, tingling, burning and pain in fingers. Without treatment, carpal tunnel usually gets worse. Wearing an over-the-counter brace is the first line of treatment. If non-surgical treatment doesn’t help, surgery can relieve pressure on the nerve.
If surgery is necessary, our physicians can provide a referral to one of our affiliated orthopaedic surgeons. For more information on surgical options, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.