Elbow Osteoarthritis

The elbow consists of three bones (the ulna, humerus, and radius) covered with cartilage that prevents the bones from rubbing directly against each other.

When this protective cartilage wears out or gets damaged, osteoarthritis of the elbow occurs.

Causes  |  Symptoms  |  Treatment Options

What Causes Elbow Osteoarthritis?

Here are some causes of Elbow Osteoarthritis:  

  • Previous elbow injuries like dislocation of the elbow or even a fracture
  • Previous surgery to correct a problem in the elbow joint
  • Injured joint ligaments which destabilise the elbow
  • Physically demanding outdoor activities

What are the Symptoms of Elbow Osteoarthritis?

The common symptoms of elbow osteoarthritis are: 

  • Stiffness and pain when moving the elbow 
  • Swelling at the elbow

Elbow Osteoarthritis Treatment

There are various treatment options for arthritis in the shoulder, such as medication, lifestyle changes (such as daily activities and exercise) or physiotherapy. However, if your condition has worsened, surgery may be recommended.

Our Orthopaedic Surgeons will be able to determine which treatments are most suitable for your condition.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Elbow Bursitis

    • Physiotherapy
      Targeted strength and flexibility exercises can help to alleviate pain and improve the function of the elbow.
    • Medication
      Medications may be prescribed to help manage your symptoms. Our doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or paracetamol.
    • Supplements
      Supplements can also help to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as improve function in your elbow.

Surgical Treatment for Elbow Bursitis

    • Joint Preservation Surgery
      Keyhole procedures may help reduce the pain and improve the function of your elbow. This involves cleaning up the joint and removing bone spurs.
    • Elbow Replacement Surgery
      In severe cases, the elbow joint has to be replaced with an artificial joint.