FAQ – Elbow Disorders

What causes elbow pain when I am playing sports?

There can be so many reasons related to pain in the elbow joint that arises specifically during sports activities. Pain can be due to bone spurs, tendonitis, loose fragments of cartilage or bone (known as loose bodies), and cartilage defects. Other than this, sports persons can develop conditions like tennis elbow, golfers elbow, UCL tear etc.


How are elbow conditions diagnosed?

Diagnosis of any condition typically begins with history taking and physical examination of the affected part by the physician. This is followed by activity history and a combination of diagnostic tests like X-ray, CT-scan or MRI to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.

What are the various treatment options for elbow disorders?

Treatment for elbow disorders depends upon various factors like age, activity level, expectations and other medical conditions. You and your doctor will discuss the best treatment option that may include:

  • Activity restriction
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Oral analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Injections of steroids
  • Surgical intervention

How will I know if I need surgery?

Surgery is required in those cases that do not respond to conservative methods of treatment. If pain, tenderness and other symptoms persist even after conservative treatment, surgery is the only option that can provide relief to the patient.

How is recovery after elbow surgery?

Recovery is quite smooth after elbow surgery. Surgeon generally restricts the movement of the elbow by sling or other devices. Initially, it takes around 6 weeks for the elbow to heal after surgery. Complete recovery may take 6 months to 1 year depending upon the type of surgery and condition of the patient.

What is the prognosis of elbow surgery?

Most of the elbow surgeries are performed in cases that do not respond to conservative treatment. The surgeries are quite successful if performed by an experienced surgeon and are followed by proper physiotherapy and rehabilitation program.

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    Dr. Vijay Kumar Sohanlal
    Orthopedic surgeon
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