Symptoms of arthritis elbow can vary from one person to another. If you are experiencing pain, swelling, and limited motion in your elbow, you should see a doctor. X-rays can show bony growth in the joint. CT scans and MRIs can evaluate joint lining and cartilage. Diagnostic imaging can also determine the cause of your elbow pain. If you think you have arthritis elbow, your doctor may recommend an MRI or an arthrogram to diagnose the condition.
Treatment for arthritis elbow focuses on relieving pain and maximizing joint function. Depending on the severity of the disease, nonsurgical treatment may require a surgical procedure, physical therapy, or a combination of these. Nonsurgical treatment depends on the cause of the disease, age, activity level, and the individual’s goals and ability to comply with therapy. Depending on the severity of your arthritis, a prescribed exercise program may improve strength and range of motion.
Surgery for arthritis elbow often involves removing bone spurs and repairing damaged synovium. If the damage is extensive, an artificial joint may be substituted. For the best results, contact a physician and discuss treatment options. If your symptoms persist for more than three days, you should see a doctor. They can recommend treatments based on your individual needs. For most people, surgery to remove bone spurs is the best option. Physical therapy is required to regain range of motion and function.
The most common form of arthritis is primary osteoarthritis. This is also known as wear and tear arthritis. It is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage on the joints. As cartilage degrades, bones rub against each other, causing pain and swelling. Eventually, bone spurs develop in the elbow joint. The condition can also lead to abnormal mechanics. It is rare for people to have osteoarthritis of the elbow, but it is a common condition in men.
MRI shows changes in bone density, thickening of synovial structures, and contrast enhancement of medullary bone marrow. A sonographic examination of the elbow revealed increased levels of joint fluid and a purulent effluent. Culture of the joint fluid showed Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli. The patient was then prescribed antituberculosis medication. A year later, the patient developed limited motion in the elbow, which prompted a surgical procedure.
Treatment for arthritis elbow varies from person to person. Conservative measures are effective and can usually cure the condition without the need for surgery. Your physician will examine you for any underlying conditions and discuss possible treatments. However, if your symptoms do not respond to medication, you may consider a surgical procedure to remove the affected bursa. This involves removing the bursa through a small cut at the back of the elbow. If you don’t want to go under the knife, you can consider keyhole surgery or an arthroscopic procedure.
Patients who can’t tolerate nonsurgical treatments may be candidates for steroid injections. Steroid injections contain a steroid or anesthetic and are effective at decreasing inflammation and pain in the affected joint. Injections can be repeated for a limited number of times and can provide significant pain relief. However, there are risks associated with steroid injections. They can lighten the skin, weaken the tendons, and increase the risk of infection.