Brad Carofino, MD
Shoulder and Hand Surgeon located in Virginia Beach, VA & Chesapeake, VA
Pain in your elbow can be the result of several medical conditions, including arthritis, muscle tears, and degeneration. At his offices in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Virginia, Dr. Brad Carofino offers effective treatment services to alleviate elbow pain and improve functionality in your elbow joint. From cortisone injections to elbow replacement surgery, Dr. Carofino is fellowship-trained in diagnosing and treating elbow disease and injuries. Schedule an evaluation online or by calling the office directly.
Elbow Pain Q & A
What causes elbow pain?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to dysfunction in your elbow and elbow pain, including:
- Tennis elbow
- Biceps tear
- UCL injury
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
Dr. Carofino offers advanced diagnostic testing to determine the root cause of your elbow pain or dysfunction. Once he confirms your diagnosis, he creates a custom treatment plan to address your pain and restore functionality to your elbow joint.
What causes elbow arthritis?
Usually, elbow arthritis is the result of wear and tear, but pain can also result from an old injury or fracture. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage lining of the joint wears away and the bones begin to rub against each other. Over time, bone spurs form, causing stiffness and limited motion.
Common causes of elbow arthritis include:
- Degenerative disease
Arthritis in the elbow can cause chronic pain that begins gradually and worsens over time. Pain levels can range from mild to severe. You may also experience frequent swelling, stiffness, and a loss of mobility in the elbow joint.
Dr. Carofino treats mild elbow arthritis using over-the-counter pain relievers and cortisone injections. If symptoms are severe and you lose motion, he may recommend minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to remove the degenerative bone spurs and improve your motion.
In severe cases, Dr. Carofino may offer elbow replacement surgery. If you have elbow replacement, you shouldn’t lift more than 10 pounds. For this reason, the procedure is usually reserved for older patients.
What is tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow is a common condition that results from a small tear in one of the muscles near your elbow. The tear can develop over time due to aging and wear and tear of the elbow joint. Tennis elbow can also be the result of an injury.
In many cases, tennis elbow pain can resolve on its own, but healing is often very slow, and it can take more than a year for symptoms to go away completely. Dr. Carofino may initially recommend icing, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy.
If pain persists, cortisone injections can help, but are not recommended for initial treatment. For tennis elbow pain that doesn’t go away after a long period of time, Dr. Carofino may recommend surgery.
What is cubital tunnel syndrome?
The cubital tunnel is the area on the inside of your elbow where the ulnar nerve is located. People often refer to this area as the funny bone. This nerve travels through your upper arm and into the inside of your elbow. It then passes down the forearm to the pinky and ring finger. When this nerve is compressed, you may experience pain in the elbow, gradually lose strength, and feel tingling in the ring and small finger.
If you experience frequent pain, pins-and-needles sensations, or numbness in the ring and small finger, you may have cubital tunnel syndrome. This condition can be treated nonsurgically with stretching exercises and splints, or with surgeries like an ulnar nerve transposition and cubital tunnel release.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Carofino online or by phone to learn how to best treat your condition.
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