Category : Elbow

Elbow Hand Shoulder Sports Injury

The Biceps Brachii: A Common Cause of Shoulder and Elbow Pain in Athletes

Hand surgeon Benjamin R. Graves MD discusses the biceps brachii and the impact it has on the shoulders and elbows of athletes.

As an upper extremity surgeon, I see patients of all ages, sports, and skill levels for shoulder and elbow injuries on a daily basis.  These problems can be acute or chronic and vary from mild to severe.  Mild cases can often be treated with non-surgical measures, whereas more severe injuries may require surgery. 

One muscle in particular, the biceps brachii (pronounced bray-key-eye), is frequently injured during sports activity, and is one of the more common reasons a patient may come to see me for evaluation.  What makes this muscle unique is that it spans two joints, the shoulder and the elbow.  This means that an injury to the “biceps” can involve the elbow, the shoulder, or both.

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Elbow Hand Surgeon Lumps and Bumps Olecranon Bursitis

Ask a Doctor: Olecranon Bursitis

Hand surgeon Steven H. Goldberg, MD explains olecranon bursitis:

Olecranon bursitis is a common problem that causes pain and swelling near the point of the elbow.  There are several causes of olecranon bursitis.  In some people we never know what causes this problem.  In other people it can begin with trauma or injury to the area. Blood can fill the area, inflammation can occur, or infection can cause the problem. Infections can be either sudden or can slowly grow and become very long lasting. Depending on the cause of the bursitis, the treatment may vary considerably and may just include observation or could require surgery to clean the area.

The olecranon is the pointy part of your elbow. The olecranon bursa is one of many bursas in your body.  A bursa is a type of tissue below the skin that produces fluid and helps the skin or deeper tissues move across areas where a lot of motion occurs. The olecranon bursa, for example, helps the skin slide over the olecranon as you bend or straighten the elbow.  Other areas where there are bursae include the subacromial and subdeltoid (shoulder) bursa, the greater trochanteric (hip) bursa, and the prepatellar (knee) bursa.  Bursitis can occur at any of these areas.

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Arthroscopy Elbow Hand Surgeon Surgery

What is Elbow Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that can be used for the elbow and other parts of the body, commonly the knee and shoulder. The procedure involves a very small incision (cut). The surgeon uses a small instrument the size of a pencil (a fiberoptic camera) to look inside the joint. The camera will project onto a screen, allowing the hand surgeon to see the different structures in your elbow. Sometimes, multiple incisions will be made so the surgeon can place the camera in multiple positions.

Elbow arthroscopy can be used for many different conditions, including:

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Elbow Hand Hand Pain Hand Surgeon Wrist

Pain in Your Hand, Wrist or Elbow? When to Seek Help

from the Cleveland Clinic

Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. But it doesn’t always tell you if you need medical treatment. So when pain develops in your hand, wrist or elbow, how do you know whether to treat it at home or see a doctor?

Orthopedic surgeon William Seitz, Jr., MD, who specializes in upper extremity problems, says if something is seriously wrong, you’ll know it.

A wrist fracture, for instance, will cause pain you can’t ignore. “When the pain is so bad you can’t move past it, call your doctor or head to the emergency department,” he says. If you don’t have that level of pain, then listen to your body. Take a moment to consider why you might be feeling pain and what it can tell you.

Read the full story.

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Bones Elbow Olecranon Bursitis

How to Know if You Have Olecranon Bursitis

Olecranon bursitis is a condition in which painful swelling develops at the back of the elbow. Here are signs that you may have this condition:

  • Swollen elbow (sometimes looking like a golf ball at the tip)
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Warmth around the elbow
  • Fever
  • Draining pus

Most times, you feel no pain with olecranon bursitis. The swelling can either be gradual or happen at once. Sometimes, it can be painful if the bursa is infected.

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Elbow Hand Hand Surgery Hand Therapy Stiff Elbow

How to Treat a Stiff Elbow

A stiff elbow can be caused by a couple different things. It could be the result of a injury, such as a fall, and it could also result from a certain condition such as arthritis. Having a stiff elbow likely means that you are unable to move the elbow as you normally would. It makes it difficult to perform simple, everyday tasks. You likely cannot bend or straighten the elbow to pick up objects or rotate your palms to do things like wash your hands.

Here are different methods that your surgeon may recommend for treating a stiff elbow:

  • Exercises/stretching
  • Splinting
  • Surgery
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Bones Elbow Elbow Fracture Hand

Ask a Doctor: Elbow Fractures

Elbow Fractures

Hand surgeon Benjamin R. Graves, MD answers your questions about elbow fractures.


Of all the joints in the body, the elbow is one of the most complex.  This complexity comes from the fact that the “elbow joint” is made up of three separate joints that form where the humerus, radius, and ulna bones meet.  Under normal circumstances, these three joints work together seamlessly to allow the flexion, extension, and forearm rotation we need to brush our hair and teeth, feed ourselves, turn a door handle, serve a tennis ball, and perform a multitude of other daily tasks.

Fractures involving the elbow can range in severity, from relatively minor injuries that heal on their own, to more severe injuries that require surgery.  Elbow fractures can also lead to a lot of questions for patients and their families.  I have compiled a list of five questions that I am frequently asked regarding elbow fractures.

I hurt my elbow. How do I know if I have an elbow fracture?

Elbow fractures can occur in a variety of ways.  Low-energy injuries, such as falls from standing or bumping the elbow onto a hard object can lead to small, stable fractures that can easily be mistaken for a sprain or strain.  They don’t always cause deformity or instability, and might only cause limited swelling and hurt-to-the-touch in a specific location.  These injuries may hurt for days or weeks and then stop hurting on their own.

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Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Elbow Hand Nerves

3 Causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that involves the ulnar nerve, also known as the “funny bone” nerve, which runs on the inner side of the elbow. This condition can cause numbness or tingling in the ring finger and small finger (sometimes referred to as “pins and needles”), pain in the forearm, loss of sensation and/or weakness in the hand.

Here are three potential causes of this condition:

  1. Pressure: The ulnar nerve has little padding over it, so direct pressure (like leaning your arm on an arm rest) can cause the arm and hand — especially the ring and small fingers — to “fall asleep.”
  2. Stretching: Keeping the elbow bent for a long time can stretch the ulnar nerve.  This can happen while you sleep or if you are holding a phone for a long period of time, for example.
  3. Anatomy: Sometimes, the ulnar nerve simply does not stay in its place. It will snap back and forth over a bony bump as you move your elbow, which can irritate the nerve.
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