Elbow injuries are ubiquitous in sports like baseball and tennis. With that said, elbow pain is not limited to athletes.
Jobs that involve repetitive motions like manufacturing and construction are at risk of injury as well. You could even experience trauma from an accident or slip-and-fall.
Your job, lifestyle, or accidents may force a visit to an orthopedic elbow doctor.
An orthopedic sports medicine doctor or hand and upper extremity specialist may be able to offer treatment for your elbow pain.
These orthopedists subspecialize, gaining an additional year of training in specific joint injuries and conditions. Subspecialized orthopedic surgeons should be able to offer the most advanced treatment options for your condition.
Overuse is one cause of UCL tears. UCL tears are common in baseball due to the nature of overusing the elbow by throwing 85-120 pitches each game.
Along with overuse from large pitch counts and innings pitched, an emphasis on throwing harder to increase velocity may lead to injury.
UCL tears can also occur due to trauma, but overuse in sports or other activities tends to be the leading cause of this elbow injury.
Minor UCL tears may only require rest or ice. Other tears can be repaired with medication or a physical therapy program. More severe cases of UCL tear will require surgery.
Tommy John surgery, or UCL reconstruction, is one of the most famous procedures in sports. In Tommy John surgery, an orthopedic surgeon can reconstruct your damaged UCL using other tendons.
Repetition and forearm stress can damage your tendon. Some sports, like tennis, can increase your likelihood of developing tennis elbow.
Nonsurgical treatment for tennis elbow is often effective. A sports medicine specialist may recommend rest or limiting certain activities. Injections and physical therapy are other nonsurgical treatment options for tennis elbow.
While rare, some cases of tennis elbow do require surgery. In this circumstance, an elbow specialist creates a small incision and reattaches the tendon.
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Overuse and repetitive motions may lead to cubital tunnel syndrome. Pressure on the ulnar nerve is another potential cause for this condition.
Sometimes the condition may heal on its own, but you should plan for that to not be the case. If left untreated, cubital tunnel syndrome can cause permanent damage to your elbow.
An elbow doctor may be able to treat this condition without surgery. In more severe cases, your surgeon may need to perform cubital tunnel release surgery.
If you have a ganglian cyst, you will have a small bump near your elbow joint. Most of the time, this bump will be painless.
The direct cause of a ganglian cyst is unknown.
Ganglian cysts can go away on their own. If you have a ganglian cyst on your elbow or another joint that is causing you pain, seek help from a doctor.
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There are many signs that you should see an elbow doctor, but we have provided three telltale signs to schedule your visit.
If you are hurting, you should seek medical advice immediately. Letting an elbow injury go untreated can lead to permanent damage.
Numbness or tingling sensations are signs you may have a condition like cubital tunnel syndrome or a torn UCL.
Stiffness in your forearm or elbow is another sign you should visit an orthopedic elbow specialist. You may notice stiffness while reaching or clenching your hand.
Your orthopedic doctor may advise trying nonsurgical treatment before evaluating surgery. Nonsurgical treatment options for elbow pain include a forearm or elbow brace, injections, occupational or physical therapy, medication, and rest.
If nonsurgical treatment does not provide relief for your pain, an elbow doctor may recommend arthroscopic or open surgery.
If you are an athlete, utilize the best sports medicine practices in your game:
Otherwise, you can avoid elbow pain by implementing an exercise program or incorporating ergonomic tools into your everyday life. If your work involves repetitive arm movement, you should rest your arm to avoid tendon stress.
If you visit an orthopedic doctor that specializes in elbow surgery, they may offer several treatment options before bringing up surgery. If nonsurgical treatment options fail, your elbow specialist may decide that you are a candidate for surgery.
Your surgeon may advise that you prepare for surgery in several ways:
Ask your elbow doctor for considerations with your upcoming surgery.
4. What can I expect after elbow surgery?
Your recovery after elbow surgery will depend on the severity of your injury and the type of surgery you get. Here are some general symptoms that you can expect after elbow surgery:
5. How can I have the best recovery from elbow surgery?
After elbow surgery, it is crucial to listen to your doctors recommendations. They may recommend the following during recovery:
Access to a skilled elbow doctor may vary depending on your location. To find the best elbow doctor near you, there are several sources you can turn to:
Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedic sports medicine specialist, Dr. Burton F. Elrod, performing surgery.
Dr. Elrod is an orthopedic sports medicine doctor and one of the most accomplished surgeons in the country. He was a Head Team Physician in the NFL for nearly twenty years. With his experience, Dr. Elrod is one of the best elbow doctors in Nashville, TN.
Dr. Moore is another accomplished sports medicine specialist who spent time as a Head Team Physician in the NFL. He is a several-time recipient of the Castle Connolly Top Doctor award and was recently named the best orthopedic doctor in Nashville, TN by Nashville Fit Magazine.
Dr. Dovan is a hand specialist that has been treating hand and upper extremity pain at Elite since 2007. He is yet another one of Elite’s orthopedists that have been named a Top Doctor numerous times.
Dr. Crosby treats conditions of the hand, fingers, wrist, and elbow. He is a skilled surgeon known for his personable approach to patient care. He was recently named a runner-up for Nashville Fit Magazine's best orthopedic physician in Nashville, TN.
Dr. Martin is a sports medicine surgeon who treats knee, shoulder, hip, and elbow conditions. She is a Team Physician for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team.
If you are suffering from elbow pain, you should seek treatment from an orthopedic elbow specialist near you. At Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics, our elbow doctors in Nashville, TN are among the most highly rated across Tennessee. Schedule your visit with one of our specialists today.