Patient Information Resources


James T. Mazzara, MD
29 Haynes Street
Manchester, CT 06040
Ph: 860-649-2267
Fax: 860-288-2107






Ankle
Elbow
Fractures
General
Hand
Hip
Knee
Shoulder
Wrist

View Web RX

Frequently Asked Questions About: Elbow
Search FAQs:  
Elbow FAQs Only Search All FAQs
Patient Education Topics for: Elbow | Recent News Relating to Elbow
 
  • I need to have surgery for tennis elbow. My doctor says there are "open" and "closed" ways to do the surgery. What's the difference?
  • I've had pain along the outside of my elbow for a while. I've tried physical therapy in the past. My new doctor wants me to wear a brace and do physical therapy again. He thinks these things will keep me from needing surgery. Is he right?
  • When it comes to tennis elbow, do steroid injections become less helpful the more of them you have?
  • Could my age-old problem with golfer's elbow be causing numbness in my hand?
  • Whenever I bend my elbow, I feel a snap on the inside edge of the elbow. Could this be related to the numbness I feel in my hand?
  • I've had pain in my elbow for years. Since getting treatment for it, I've heard my doctor and occupational therapist talk about the "carrying angle" of the elbow. What is so important about this angle, and are there differences in the elbow angles of males and females?
  • I am having arthroscopy for tennis elbow. Will I be able to go back to sports after surgery?
  • I am having arthroscopy for tennis elbow. How soon will I be able to go back to work after surgery?
  • I've tried conservative treatment for tennis elbow, but it hasn't helped. My doctor says surgery's the next step. He wants me to have an arthroscopic procedure. What's that?
  • My elderly mother fell and broke her elbow. Because mom has osteoporosis, the doctor said the best thing to do is replace the broken elbow with a new joint. Wouldn't it be easier to just fix the broken elbow?
  • Do rest and physical therapy help patients avoid surgery for tennis elbow?
  • Due to ongoing problems of cubital tunnel syndrome, my doctor is suggesting surgery. What does surgery for this problem usually involve?
  • Working as a house framer requires that I swing a hammer most of the day. By the end of the shift, the pain on the inside bump of my elbow becomes too much. I can barely keep working. Won't my doctor just do surgery, so I can do my job?
  • What is the difference between radial tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow?
  • What is radial tunnel syndrome?
  • What causes the pain of radial tunnel syndrome?
  • What is the radial tunnel?
  • I would prefer to avoid surgery for my elbow arthritis. What steps can I take to deal with my symptoms short of surgery?
  • What are the symptoms of elbow osteoarthritis?
  • The pain of osteoarthritis is in my elbow has become too much to bear. My doctor recommends surgery to fuse the bones together. Sure it'll help with pain, but it seems I won't be able to do anything with the elbow after the surgery. True?
  • Every time I rest my right elbow on my desk at work, I get pain and swelling on the point of my elbow. Why is this, and what can I do about it?
  • The pain behind my elbow was recently diagnosed as olecranon bursitis. How could I have gotten this problem?
  • Where is the olecranon bursa, and what does it do?
  • An avid swimmer, I'm wondering how I ended up with golfer's elbow. Any ideas?
  • The pain I feel on the inside edge of my elbow was recently diagnosed as golfer's elbow. How can this be when I don't play golf?
  • The symptoms I've felt from tennis elbow over the past two years haven't changed, even with medication to fight inflammation. Could my pain be coming from something other than inflammation?
  • How can playing tennis cause tennis elbow?
  • The elbow pain I've had for years is apparently not due to inflammation. My doctors said it is from a condition called tendinosis. What is tendinosis, and how did I get it?
  • What does tennis elbow feel like?
  • What are the most common causes of tennis elbow?
  • How could my doctor diagnose my elbow pain as tennis elbow? I've never even played the game.
  • What does my doctor hope to achieve by doing interpositional arthroplasty on my arthritic elbow?
  • When considering the options to treat my elbow arthritis, my doctor mentioned a surgery called interposition arthroplasty. What is this surgery, and what does it involve?
  • What can I expect after my elbow fusion surgery?
  • In high school, I dislocated my elbow. Is it possible I could someday end up with arthritis in the joint?
  • Why would my doctor recommend fusion surgery to fix my problems with elbow arthritis?
  • I play a lot of tennis, and I swim almost every day. I'm not having any particular problems now, but I'm wondering if these sports will loosen my elbow joint over time.
  • What is the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow? What does it do?
  • Will my career as a baseball pitcher put me at risk for having elbow problems?
  • In baseball, what kinds of injuries are the most likely to keep players from the game?
  • I read an article in a sports magazine that gave some safety guidelines for young pitchers. How can I get my 12-year-old son's baseball coach to use some of these?
  • My 15-year-old son is a pitcher for his high school baseball team. He pitched all through Little League without any problems. Now he is complaining of elbow pain after every game. What should I do about this?
  • I had surgery a week ago for tennis elbow. Now I am in a splint that I can only take off for exercise. I feel perfectly fine and would like to remove the splint permanently. Is this okay?
  • I have been a piano teacher for 12 years. I've never had any problems teaching and playing for long hours. But in the last six weeks, I have started to notice pain on the outside of my elbow as soon as I start to play. What could be causing this, and what can I do about it?
  • I have had tennis elbow for the last two years. There is constant pain on the outside of my elbow that goes down my forearm. I have tried everything without relief: straps, splints, exercises, magnets, chiropractic, massage, ice, and medications. What else can I try?
  • I am having surgery on my broken elbow. The doctor described cutting through the ligaments, tendons, and muscles on the outside of my elbow to get to the broken bone. I'm an avid weight-lifter. Will surgery permanently weaken my arm or keep me from lifting weights?
  • When I straighten my arms, my elbows always look a little bit bent. They don't seem to straighten as much as other people's elbows. Is there a reason for this?
  • I hurt my elbow in a work-related accident. When the report came through from workers' compensation, I noticed it said that I have a "positive pivot shift test." What is this, and what's it used for?
  • Last year, I had surgery to take the pressure off a nerve on the inside edge of my right elbow. All my symptoms went away, but now I have a new one. Whenever I put any pressure on the inside of my elbow, I get a tingling sensation down my forearm into my little finger. Sometimes this happens just from pulling on a shirt when I get dressed. What is causing this?
  • My doctor diagnosed my elbow trouble as cubital tunnel syndrome. My ring and little fingers keep falling asleep, and I can't hold a fist for more than a few seconds. What can be done about this?
  • For the last six months, I've felt a tingling sensation in my right ring and little fingers. At first it didn't bother me, but now I am having trouble with simple things like holding silverware, opening mail, and turning my key in the door. What could be causing this?
  • I fell on the ice two years ago and broke my elbow into little pieces. Since then, I have had six surgeries on my arm to repair the elbow. Nothing has worked, and now I have a surgically fused elbow. Even though it has been almost nine months since the surgery, I am still having trouble with simple things like picking up a glass of water or cutting my food. What do you recommend?
  • I am a 72-year-old woman with an elbow replacement joint. Unfortunately, I got an infection in the joint, and it has to be removed. Too much of the joint has been destroyed to put in another joint replacement. The doctor is recommending arthrodesis. What is this?
  • After having a noncancerous tumor removed from my elbow, most of the joint and bone on either side were destroyed. In order to salvage the arm, the surgeon wants to fuse together what's left of the bones around the elbow. What's the best position to put my arm in permanently?
  • My 12-year-old son was hit with a baseball during regular season practice. The testing showed an injury to the end of his forearm bone. The doctor thinks my son will be out the rest of the season. Is this really necessary?
  • My doctor is trying a new treatment for my tennis elbow. This involves injecting some of my own blood into the area. How long before I should see some improvement in my pain?
  • After six steroid injections for tennis elbow, I saw a report that it isn't an inflammatory problem after all. What's up with that?
  • I've had several steroid injections into my elbow for tendonitis. The next step is to try blood injections. If steroids didn't work, why will blood make a difference?
  • I've had tennis elbow for six months. My doctor has given me two choices: a steroid injection into the area or a slower method called iontophoresis. What can you tell me about this?
  • I took up archery last year for the first time at age 33. I quickly developed tennis elbow that hasn’t gone away. It’s been almost 9 months. Is this typical?
  • I had a fall from horseback riding and fell on my thumb. The radial collateral ligament was torn. The doctor did surgery to repair it, but advised me there could be "residual symptoms." What would these be?
  • My 17-year old son is on a high school water polo team. Several of the players have developed osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). How can we prevent this in our child?
  • I have three daughters in gymnastics from ages seven to 12. Each one practices at least 20 hours a week. I worry about injuries. How much is too much?
  • What is osteochondritis dissecans? My 12-year old daughter has been diagnosed with this condition.
  • I was holding a load of logs from falling with my arms when my right arm just gave way. I ruptured the biceps tendon. I've been on the job 22 years and have never seen anything like this. Am I a fluke of nature or what?
  • I tore my biceps tendon in a work accident. The doctor is advising surgery to repair it. What will happen if I just let it heal on its own?
  • I was working a construction site when a heavy load fell on my arm. I tore the biceps tendon in two places. After surgery I noticed quite a bit of swelling along with numbness and tingling in my arm. How long will this last?
  • I notice my elbows don't straighten all the way. Some of my friends' elbows seem to bend back past the straight point. Is there something wrong with me?
  • I saw a report on TV about the use of radiofrequency to treat chronic tennis elbow. When I went in to have my tendonitis treated, no one even mentioned this as an option. Why not?
  • I've been treated for chronic tennis elbow for the last two years. My doctor says it's finally time to think about surgery. What kind of surgery is best?
  • I've been seeing an occupational therapist for tennis elbow for the last month. I notice all the women in the waiting room have splints but all the men don't. Is there a reason for this?
  • I work as a seamstress to make a living mostly doing clothing alterations. Lately I've been having a lot of tennis elbow. Would a splint help me?
  • I've had tennis elbow twice in the last two years. I call it "tuba elbow." I get it whenever I have to carry my tuba in its case for very far. What's the best way to get over this problem?
  • I had surgery for tennis elbow back a few months ago. My painful symptoms are better but I'm still weak as a kitten. Why is that?
  • I helped a friend clean up his yard over the weekend. I ended up with a bad case of "gardener's elbow," also known as "tennis elbow." What are my chances this will clear up on its own?
  • I've had tennis elbow off and on for three years. My job in a meatpacking plant requires me to turn pieces of meat from one side to the other as it passes by on a conveyor belt. Would changing jobs help me get rid of this problem?
  • I've heard that steroid injections are bad for you. I've already had three for tennis elbow. They seem to work fine for awhile. How many can I have without serious harm?
  • I've heard there's a new treatment for chronic tennis elbow. It's called Botulinum injection. What can you tell me about it?
  • I had a Botox injection for chronic tennis elbow and then lost control of my fingers. Since I play lead guitar in a rock band this is a major problem. What can be done about it?
  • Which is better for chronic tennis elbow: a steroid injection or injection with botulinum toxin? The clinic I'm going to offers both. I don't know how to decide.
  • I've been having problems with tennis elbow. I notice every time I bend my head away from the painful arm, I get a shooting sensation like lightening around the elbow. What can I do about this? Will stretching help?
  • I thought I hurt my elbow playing in an adult softball league. But I didn't get better with physical therapy until the therapist changed my computer station. She adjusted things to fit my size and improve my sitting posture. I want to pass this tip on to other elbow tendonitis sufferers.
  • After being told I have tennis elbow I can't believe how many other people I know who tell me they have it too. How common is this problem? Why is everyone getting it?
  • I've been told there are two ways to do a lateral release for tennis elbow: open or closed. Does it matter which one I have?
  • I've been scheduled for a "lateral release" for tennis elbow. I'll be home the same day. What exactly is done in this operation?
  • The doctor told me I have a torn tendon in my elbow giving me tennis elbow. I've been told to go see a physical therapist. Shouldn't I have surgery to fix it?
  • I woke up one day with elbow pain that wouldn't quit. The doctor tells me it's "tennis elbow." No one seems to know what caused it. Is this common?
  • I'm seeing a physical therapist for tennis elbow. He wants to try iontophoresis on my elbow. I've been told this helps reduce inflammation. I'm trying to avoid using drugs or chemicals. Is this treatment safe?
  • I saw a physical therapist for tennis elbow about a month ago. She did various treatments to my neck. After the first three sessions, I noticed my elbow pain was gone and I could grip jars and groceries again. What I can't figure out is why messing with the neck makes the elbow feel better.
  • What's the best treatment for tennis elbow? My pain is on the outside of my left elbow.
  • I'm getting ready to do a high school science project to see if using magnets helps tennis elbow. How do I find the right people for the study?
  • What is shock wave therapy for tennis elbow? How do I know if it would work for me?
  • I'm in the 9th Calvary Scouts. My unit is supposed to leave for Iraq next month. This is our second tour of duty. Next week I'm having an open operation on my elbow. It's supposed to take pressure off the ulnar nerve. The surgeon is also going to move the nerve over toward the middle of my forearm. How soon will I be able to get back to my unit?
  • I'm starting to have elbow pain with numbness and tingling down my forearm. Sometimes it feels like the whole arm is asleep. What could be causing this? Is it serious?
  • I went to see the doctor for an elbow problem and got a neck X-ray instead. Was the X-ray a mistake? Should I pay for it? What's the thinking behind this?
  • I had a cyst removed from my knee with an arthroscope. I was back to work the next day. I had the same kind of cyst in my elbow but had to have open surgery. Why can't they remove an elbow cyst with an arthroscope?
  • It feels like there's a lump inside my elbow. I can't straighten my elbow because of pain and the lump seems to move as the muscle moves. What is this?
  • My doctor says I need shock wave therapy for my tennis elbow. We've tried everything else with no success. I've had this problem over a year now. What can I expect from this new treatment?
  • I'm 50 years old and took up tennis to play with my teenage daughters this year. I got tennis elbow in the first month. I see other people my age playing tennis. How come I can't play without getting pain?
  • I've heard there's some kind of "shock" therapy for tennis elbow. What can you tell me about this?
  • What exactly is the "funny bone" in the elbow?
  • What is cubital tunnel syndrome? My son was just diagnosed with this condition.
  • I am the new proud owner of an elbow replacement. Everything went very well. I've been reading some materials that say sometimes the implant fails. What does this mean?
  • For years I've had rheumatoid arthritis in my hands. I've managed okay. Now it's moved to my elbows. The pain is much worse than anything I ever had in my hands. Is there such a thing as an elbow transplant? I'm desperate.
  • I'm planning to have at least one of my elbow joints replaced because of severe rheumatoid arthritis. Will I be able to get my normal strength and function back with the new implant?
  • The doctor sent me to an occupational therapist for chronic tennis elbow. She wants to make me a special brace. No one has suggested this treatment after all these months. How can a brace help?
  • Is there any benefit to using an elbow brace for tennis elbow? I'm already seeing a physical therapist for ultrasound, friction massage, and exercises. Is more treatment better?
  • I've been having a terrible time with tennis elbow. Nothing seems to help. Would a brace do me any good?
  • My husband fractured and dislocated his elbow in a car accident. He's wearing a brace that's actually pinned into the elbow. Why can't he just have a regular brace that comes off and on?
  • Can you help me out? I have an external fixator on my right elbow. That's a brace with a pin through the joint. But the pin doesn't look straight and I'm worried. The joint seems to move okay but the pin isn't straight across from one side of the joint to the other. Is that okay?
  • I've heard of carpal tunnel but what is cubital tunnel syndrome? One of the workers in our office says she has this new problem.
  • My mother lives in a nursing home and fell last week. The doctor's report says she has iatrogenic neurapraxia of the elbow. What does that mean exactly? All we know is she can't straighten her elbow on one side but it's not broken.
  • I had a bad injury at work and smashed my elbow against a wood block. My hand and forearm are very weak and I have numbness in some of my fingers. The worker's comp doctor wants to just wait-and-see what happens. I'm worried that something more should be done. Should I get a second opinion on my own?
  • I'm a pitcher for a baseball team. During my preseason physical exam the doctor noticed my pitching arm doesn't straighten all the way. Should I be concerned about this?
  • I'm a semi-pro baseball pitcher trying to break into the professional league. I notice that my pitching arm doesn't straighten out as much as the other arm. Is this something I should work on? Will it improve my pitching statistics?
  • I had a piece of the bone at my elbow removed to take pressure off the nerve. My elbow pain is better but the ring finger and little finger on that side are still numb. I'm also having trouble bending my elbow, which wasn't a problem before the operation. Will these problems go away in time, or am I stuck like this forever?
  • I am in rehab with an occupational therapist to help my elbow pain. I have a pinched nerve along the inside of my elbow going down my forearm. The doctor mentioned surgery as a possible option if rehab doesn't work. Just what kind of operation can be done?
  • I am a serious golfer with a serious problem: elbow pain with clicking and snapping. Sometimes I can't straighten my lead arm all the way. What could be causing this?
  • I've been told my elbow pain and catching are caused by a piece of cartilage getting caught in the joint. Is surgery my only option?
  • My daughter started complaining of pain, weakness, and numbness in her right hand, especially the last two fingers. The doctor diagnosed it with special nerve tests as ulnar neuropathy of the elbow (UNE). Can you tell me what this means?
  • I've been having numbness and tingling in the last two fingers of my hand. The doctor sent me for nerve testing. The test was done twice six months apart. The first time my elbow was straight. The elbow was bent for the second test. I know it's just a small thing but I can't help but wonder if it makes a difference in the results?
  • My mother has been diagnosed with cubital tunnel syndrome of her elbow. What causes this problem?
  • My doctor thinks I have cubital tunnel syndrome of the right arm. The electrical tests I had done were all negative. Why don't they show anything?
  • I went to the doctor to find out why I keep getting electric shocks down the inside of my forearm. One of the tests was to tap the nerve inside the elbow with a reflex hammer. Nothing really happened during the test. What is this test for, and what does it show the doctor?
  • My husband fell from the roof while working on a house project. He broke and dislocated his elbow. They called it a terrible triad injury. What does that mean exactly?
  • I broke my elbow about six months ago. Unfortunately before it healed, I fell again and dislocated it. Now I can't seem to keep it from popping in and out. Why won't it heal back to normal?
  • Our 17-year old son fell while skateboarding. He broke the tip of the forearm bone as it inserts into the upper arm bone. Even though the broken fragment was pretty small, the surgeon has advised surgery. Is this really necessary?
  • I had an elbow replacement done one year ago for severe rheumatoid arthritis. The pain and stiffness before surgery kept me from using that arm and hand. Everything was going fine after the replacement and then the stem of the implant broke. What happens next?
  • My brother traveled all the way to Mayo Clinic for an elbow replacement. He fractured his elbow in a bad car accident several years. It never healed quite right so they took it out and gave him a new titanium elbow. Within six weeks, he had a second surgery to repair a broken implant. Isn't titanium strong enough for the elbow?
  • I've been told I have an unusual problem with my elbow. It's called the snapping triceps syndrome. It's probably caused by my weight lifting program. What can I do in my training to get rid of this problem?
  • I had surgery to repair a torn elbow ligament. I guess I just overused it pitching baseball competitively through high school and college. I still can't seem to get back to my old pitching strength. Is it even possible? Or am I just too old now?
  • Our son is a 17-year old junior in high school. He's in track and field sports in the javelin-throwing event. At his last practice he felt a pop along the inside of his elbow after his best throw. After that he hasn't been able to throw worth beans. What happened?
  • I've been told I need a month's rest from pitching to recover from a ligament tear in my elbow. When the month is up, how should I train to get back to a competitive level?
  • I know there's something wrong with my elbow, but I don't want a lot of tests to find out what it is. What should I ask my doctor to order?
  • I hurt my elbow about six months ago. Even though I have full motion, there's still a lot of pain and stiffness. What could be causing this?
  • What is a tardy ulnar nerve palsy? My mother just told me that's what her doctor thinks she has. She fell last winter and broke her elbow. Although the elbow seems to have healed okay, it looks funny. And she still has numbness in her forearm and the last two fingers.
  • My husband think I have tennis elbow. As silly as this may sound, I don't play tennis - or any other sports. How can I have tennis elbow?
  • How is tennis elbow treated?
  • Have you ever heard of an elbow joint replacement? Is it even possible yet? My niece broke her elbow into tiny bits. It doesn't seem like they are doing anything for her, so I'm scouting out possibilities.
  • What is ORIF? One of my employees broke his elbow and text messaged me from the hospital. He said they are going to do an ORIF operation.
  • My husband is a car mechanic. An engine mount broke and the engine fell on his arm. He dislocated his elbow and tore the ligaments. Now he's in a pin and rod device to hold the elbow in place while it heals. He wants to know what does this contraption really do?
  • I broke and dislocated my elbow playing touch football with a bunch of friends. I'm in a special fixator device with pins to hold it until it heals. The surgeon has told me not to lift anything that weighs more than a can of Coke. What would happen if I did accidentally lift something too heavy?
  • I just had a steroid injection into my elbow. The doctor gave me a sling to wear for the weekend. Everyone else I know who gets a steroid injection goes right out and plays tennis or golf or whatever. What's the purpose of the sling?
  • My favorite auntie has elbow bursitis so badly she can no longer play cards -- and that gets her out of the house and with friends. What can be done to help her?
  • What is tennis elbow?
  • How is tennis elbow treated?
  • I have worked and worked my elbow and still can't bend it all the way. This happened after I dislocated my elbow during a bad fall. The emergency room doctor popped it back in so I thought it would be okay. Can anything else be done?
  • I have a problem in my elbow called heterotopic ossification. I got it after I dislocated my elbow falling on the ice. By the time anyone realized I had it, it was too late to prevent it. Now we are looking at surgery. I don't want to wait too long for that. How soon can this operation be done?
  • My son plays competitive basketball but his uncle, who did as well, is warning us that my son can develop problems in his elbow that may last his life. What can we do to prevent this from happening?
  • I'm trying to decide if I should have surgery for my tennis elbow. I've tried acupuncture, physical therapy, and the usual rest and antiinflammatories. Nothing seems to help. It's not worse, but it's not better either. What do you suggest?
  • I had surgery for my tennis elbow last year. The pain is much better but I still seem to lack strength in that arm. Will that eventually improve?
  • My son plays competitive basketball but his uncle, who did as well, is warning us that my son can develop problems in his elbow that may last his life. What can we do to prevent this from happening?
  • My daughter's elbow has been causing her a lot of pain and the doctor said that she has to have surgery to repair some damage, called osteochondral lesions. What type of surgery is this?
  • I heard about a local man, an strong guy, who ruptured his biceps tendon. How does that happen?
  • How is a rupture of the biceps tendon fixed?
  • How long does it take after repairing a torn biceps tendon before someone can be back to normal?
  • What type of doctor does repairs like for a torn tendon?
  • My doctor thinks I have an ulnar nerve entrapment. I go in for tests next week to find out what's causing it. I know a little about what causes carpal tunnel syndrome. Is it the same for this nerve problem?
  • I had shoulder surgery and ended up with an acute compression syndrome of the ulnar nerve. How does this happen?
  • Our college-aged son is on an athlete's scholarship. In the last baseball game he pitched, he injured the ligament on the outside of his elbow. They say it can be replaced with a tendon from someplace else. Where does this come from?
  • For years I've been treated off and on for tennis elbow. It's always been called tendinitis but now I notice my records all use the word tendinosis. What's the difference?
  • I've been seeing an acupuncturist for tennis elbow for the last four months. Sometimes it seems to help, but as soon as I use that arm, the pain comes right back. What else can I do?
  • Have you ever heard of shock wave therapy for tennis elbow? What is it? Does it work?
  • I'm on my high school tennis team. Last year I developed tennis elbow. Despite resting it over the summer, the pain has come back even worse than before. I don't want surgery. Is there any point in seeing my doctor for this problem anyway?
  • I'm going to have arthroscopic surgery to treat a problem with chronic tennis elbow. Everything sounds like it will be quick and easy. Are there any drawbacks to this treatment?
  • When I have surgery next week for my chronic tennis elbow, what can I expect in the way of results?
  • I've had an on-again/off-again problem with tennis elbow. My doctor tells me surgery is only advised when conservative care fails. But how much time should go by before we take this step?
  • If I decide to have surgery for chronic tennis elbow, what kind of operation would they do for this problem?
  • My knees started to act up with arthritis last year. I had a few of those slippery injections in both knees. Now they are doing much better. Lately my left elbow is starting to bother me. Can I have the same injections for this joint?
  • I'm looking into the possibility of having a total elbow joint replacement. What can you tell me about these implants? How long do they last? What kinds are there?
  • What is a terrible triad elbow injury? Our nephew is having surgery for this but we don't really understand what it is.
  • Is it still true that it's not how you pitch the ball but how often that makes a difference in risk for elbow injury? I'm taking over as the coach for my grandson's youth baseball team. I haven't done this since I coached my son's Little League team 30 years ago.
  • Two boys on the local baseball team suffered elbow injuries around the same time. Our son was one of them. They both had surgery (different surgeons) to repair the main ligament on the inside of the elbow. The other boy is back in action, while our son has had nothing but problems. What could account for these differences? Are there different ways to do this operation (one better than the other)?
  • I think I may have permanently damaged my elbow. Yesterday, I was playing catch with my son. As I was throwing the ball forward, I felt a distinct pop along the inside of my elbow. It didn't hurt at the time so we kept playing. Today, it's swollen and very painful. What do you think I did?
  • Have you ever heard of blood flow studies being done for tennis elbow? My doctor seems to think this would be a good idea for me to have. What can you tell me about them? Is this another one of those tests they do because they have the medical toys and know-how? Is it really needed?
  • What's the difference between tennis elbow and golfer's elbow? I don't play either game, and now I have golfer's elbow. How is this possible?
  • Our college-aged son is having problems with his arm from a baseball injury. We're looking into possible surgery to reconstruct the ulnar ligament. How well does this treatment work? Will he be able to get back on the team? His college scholarship depends on it.
  • One of the girls on our daughter's gymnastics team tore the ligament in her elbow. She's had surgery and now she's wearing a brace while the elbow heals. Would this brace be helpful for our daughter? She hurt her elbow too but not enough to need surgery.
  • The star pitcher of our little league baseball team tore the ligament on the inside of his pitching elbow. They are talking about reattaching it surgically. How well does a repair like that hold up? We were hoping he would lead us into the playoffs next season.
  • Our 14-year old daughter went to cheer camp this year for the first time. She loves gymnastics and cheering. She came back with a nasty injury to her inside elbow ligament and may need surgery. Right now, she's seeing a physical therapist to rehab it. Will she be able to get back to sports without surgery?
  • Last winter, I fell on the ice and dislocated my elbow. My wife is an EMT and she was able to pop it back in place. I thought it was doing okay but now I'm noticing that every time I push down on the armrest of a chair as I stand up, there's a painful popping. What does this mean?
  • Our 16-year old son is on his high school lacrosse team. He's been having some elbow problems that we can't quite figure out. It doesn't seem like the elbow bothers him during practices or games. But afterwards, he complains bitterly of painful popping along the inside of the elbow. What could be causing this?
  • I'm 18 years old. I play on a minor league baseball team. Until a recent elbow injury, I was moving on up to a higher level of professional baseball. Now it looks like I may need elbow surgery. What are my chances for playing getting back into the fray?
  • My husband is a Division I college ball player. He tore his middle elbow ligament twice now. The first time he had an operation to fix it. Now he might need another operation. Will he be able to play again after this next surgery?
  • Our 26-year old son is a professional baseball player with a problem. He tore his medial collateral ligament during practice. He had surgery to repair the problem, but it left him with a pinched nerve from scar tissue. Should he have a second operation to free up the nerve? We just don't know how to advise him.
  • I've heard they are using laughing gas to treat tennis elbow. How does that work?
  • When I was a boy, my friend dislocated his shoulder and he put it back into place itself. When my son dislocated his elbow recently, the doctor had to put it back into place for him. Why can some joints go back by themselves and others can't?
  • What is the proper treatment for a dislocated elbow? A friend of mind had one and was told to take it easy and have physical therapy while my sister had to wear a brace for several weeks.
  • What's a supracondylar fracture? Mom just texted us that our little brother fell, broke his arm, and is having surgery for this.
  • When my son, who is now 21, was in fourth grade, he fell off a snow hill and a child landed on top of him. That caused a fractured forearm and a severely dislocated elbow. After six weeks of casting and therapy, he was able to use his arm, but not long after, he was shaking his arm vigorously to remove some dirt from his hands and his elbow popped out again. He was casted for another three weeks. Years later, he fell - but not hard - and it dislocated again. Now that he's an adult, he says he has problems with the elbow from time to time. Can this ever be fixed?
  • What is the difference between carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome?
  • Whenever I lean on my elbow, like if I'm reading at my desk, I get a funny feeling in the funny bone area. My friend told me about cubital tunnel syndrome. Is that what I have?
  • What is the difference between carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome?
  • Whenever I lean on my elbow, like if I'm reading at my desk, I get a funny feeling in the funny bone area. My friend told me about cubital tunnel syndrome. Is that what I have?
  • Football seems like such a dangerous sport. Is there any way to prevent the players from breaking their arms and legs the way they do?
  • My brother and I have a bet on this - what percentage of football injuries involve the arms and what players are most at risk?
  • I was out playing softball with my adult children. I tried to slide into home plate and score the winning run, but at my age (52 years old), it didn't go so well. I broke both my elbows. The bigger problem is that I have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was a young kid. Neither one of those elbows were in very good shape to begin with. The surgeon is trying to decide what type of surgery would be best for me. What do you advise?
  • Two years ago, I broke my right elbow during a bad fall on the ice. Wouldn't you know it, I am both right-handed. And I have moderately severe rheumatoid arthritis (which is worse on that side). They wired me back together, but the joint is so stiff I can hardly use it. Can something be done to loosen me back up?
  • When I wake up in the morning, the inside of my elbow hurts. It doesn't bother me during the day but it's sure sore for the first hour or so. What could be causing this?
  • I was just diagnosed with cubital tunnel syndrome. What's the prognosis for this problem?
  • Why does it hurt so much when I hit my funny bone. It's not even a bone, is it?
  • Can you hurt the nerve in your arm if you hit your funny bone too much?
  • A friend of mine had a bone scan for cancer. It showed hot spots where the bone was growing too fast because of tumors. Do you think a test like this could help me? I don't have something as serious as cancer, but I do have chronic tennis elbow that is very disabling. They tell me no tests are needed because there's nothing to see. Is that really true?
  • I just saw the local clinic's physician's assistant. He says I have tennis elbow even though I don't play tennis and don't know how I got this condition. I'm wondering if that's what's really wrong with me. How can they tell that without even doing an X-ray or MRI or something?
  • Is it possible to avoid surgery for compartment syndrome of the forearm? I'm a brick layer and I need my arms for work everyday. I can't really take time off for an operation.
  • I've been rock climbing all my life without any problems. Now, all of a sudden, I'm having intense pain and puffiness in my forearm. The docs say I have a compartment syndrome and need surgery. Why me and why now?
  • My son broke his arm and dislocated his elbow about 10 years ago. They were going to operate but at the last minute in the operating room, they put his elbow back into place so they didn't do surgery. Since then, he's dislocated his elbow four times. I read that if they have broken bones, surgery is needed. Should he not have had surgery?
  • Why is an elbow dislocation done under anesthetic?
  • My daughter is an up-and-coming star baseball pitcher. She's had to fight being with boys and has gotten to a high level for her age. The problem is now, her coach says she can't pitch a full game if it goes beyond a certain number of pitches and she can't pitch two games in a row unless there's a week between them. He said it's to protect her arm. What's this all about?
  • If someone has a completely torn ligament in their elbow, do they have to have surgery or can it heal on its own?
  • I am an amateur weight-lifter. I like to get together with a group of friends after work and workout together. I ruptured my left biceps muscle (I am right-handed) about two months ago. I've had surgery, and I'm in physical therapy now to get my strength back. What kind of results can I expect when this is all said and done? Can I get back to weight-lifting with the guys?
  • Two years ago, I tore my biceps tendon on a construction job. I switched jobs instead of having surgery to repair it. Now I find the pain and loss of strength are making my new job difficult. Is it too late to have the surgery done?
  • My nephew hurt his elbow a while ago and now it's stiff. He has trouble opening it all the way and it doesn't "close" all the way either. Otherwise, it seems to be ok and he doesn't really have any pain. Anyway, his doctor wants to operate on it. Should he do that?
  • Is a splint a good way to fix a stiff elbow?
  • We are trying to decide what's the best treatment for an exchange student who is living with us. He has gotten involved in baseball and developed osteochondritis dissecans of the elbow. His parents have agreed to whatever we think is best. Would it be helpful to have a CT scan or MRIs done before deciding on the best course of action?
  • My 13-year old son was just diagnosed with OCD of the elbow. What is the prognosis for this kind of problem? I don't know much about what happens to young kids with this condition.
  • I work in a feed plant as my regular job but I also play violin in our local symphony orchestra. Last week, I ruptured my left biceps tendon lifting a bag of feed that was too heavy. Now I'm paying for that little piece of stupidity. The surgeon put me back together. How long before I can pick up a violin and play again?
  • I had surgery to reattach a ruptured biceps tendon. I got all my elbow motion back, but I still can't turn my palm up all the way. This is especially a problem when I'm trying to turn the key in the lock of my front door or open the hatch back on my car. Is this normal?
  • I'm newly retired at age 57. I've always wanted to take up golf, so I gave it a try. But after only two rounds (both 18 holes), I developed tennis elbow. Well, I guess you could call it golfer's elbow. I'm really bummed. My golf instructor suggested getting a steroid injection. He thought I could get back in the game faster that way. What do the experts say?
  • What do you think about laser treatments for tennis elbow? My cousin swears by them but I'm a little dubious to try something that new.
  • I broke my elbow in a car accident and now I'm in rehab to try and get the motion back. The therapist has me in a special splint to keep the elbow from freezing up. But it hurts so much, I can hardly wear it. Are there other options for me? I'd like to be able to go back to the therapist with some ideas.
  • I had surgery to smooth the edges of my elbow. They removed some bone spurs and cut some of the joint capsule to give me more motion. The pain is gone but I'm still stiff as a board. What causes that?
  • I'm thinking about maybe getting an elbow replacement. I read somewhere that you have to be willing to follow some restrictions for the rest of your life. What are these?
  • My daughter has had rheumatoid arthritis all her life. She's still very young (33 years old) but has disabling elbow pain and can't even use her right arm. Medications have helped but not enough. Should I suggest she see a surgeon? Can't they do elbow replacements now?
  • I've been off work on worker's comp for three months now with tennis elbow. You wouldn't think something so simple would take so long. But there's no way I can go back to my job yet as a heavy manual laborer. One second on the job would do me in. My friends tell me to think positive and it will happen. Have I brought this on myself by my negative thoughts that I can't get to work?
  • I have a job as a glorified administrative assistant, which means I file and type all day. I've been struggling with a bad case of tennis elbow -- just can't seem to shake it. If I have surgery and it doesn't work, I'm afraid I'll lose my job. But if it gets much worse, I won't be able to do my job then either. What do other people do in these kinds of situations?
  • Our orthopedic surgeon doesn't think our 23-year-old daughter with severe elbow deformities from rheumatoid arthritis should jump right to elbow replacements. She is recommending surgery that she calls a nonreplacement option. We are thinking about going to the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion. Do they even do this kind of surgery there?
  • I'm investigating the possibility of having an elbow replacement. I am very active and it is my dominant arm. The information I've read so far says there is a high revision rate in people my age (32 years old). Why is that?
  • I am a competitive gymnast in floor exercise and the balance beam. Last summer in a competition, I blew out the ligament on the inside of my elbow. Rehab didn't work to give me the stability I need, so I'm having reconstructive surgery. The surgeon mentioned a long rehab process but didn't say much about it. Just how long will it take for me to get back into competition?
  • I'll admit, I'm a bit of a hotshot athlete. I always like to push the envelope to be faster and better than anyone else on the team. Right now, I'm out on rehab leave for elbow surgery. They had to redo my ulnar ligament. The therapist has given me a printout of what I can and can't do week-by-week for the next six months. I'm thinking I'd like to move that up as quickly as possible. What can I skip?
  • Have you ever heard of a nine-year-old having golfer's elbow? Our daughter has been complaining about elbow pain for months. We finally took her into see the pediatric orthopedic specialist and that's the diagnosis. She doesn't even play golf!
  • My husband is scheduled for surgery this afternoon for a badly broken elbow (motorcycle accident). They are talking about taking one of the bones out at the top and replacing it with an implant. He's already signed the forms giving the surgeon permission to do whatever needs to be done. I'm wondering if that's such a good idea. Maybe we should go back and say, No, save the elbow no matter what. What do you think?
  • Can you tell me what overstuffing means? I had elbow surgery with plates and screws to hold a bone together that was broken into tiny bits. When that failed, they took the top of the radius bone out and put an artificial implant in. Now I've lost even more motion and the new surgeon says it's because I have an overstuffed implant. I don't really understand what that means exactly.
  • Does this make sense to you? Mother fell and broke her elbow (the bottom of the long arm bone, not her forearm bone). They want to wait before they do surgery. They say there's a chance she could heal on her own with a splint if she's careful. What if it doesn't heal? Will the surgery still works as good as if she had it now? We just don't know what to think.
  • Could you run by me the best way to treat an 83-year-old man with an elbow fracture? My father has a distal humeral displaced fracture.
  • What's the best way to treat cubital tunnel syndrome? I've had this condition for two years and finally have time to deal with it.
  • I am a physical therapist and a certified hand therapist. I work in a large clinic that treats just upper extremity problems. We have a fair number of patients with cubital tunnel syndrome who end up having surgery. We are looking for a valid tool to use to measure patient satisfaction before and after treatment. Are you a familiar with anything like that?
  • I saw a brief segment on the news about a new treatment using my own blood for chronic tennis elbow. I would love to try it. It's been months since I played a game without pain. My doctor didn't seem to know anything about it. I said I would research it and get back to him. What can you tell me about this?
  • Many times at the end of a work day, I'm left with a tingling feeling in my elbow and some pain from time to time. My coworker says it's the way I lean on my elbow at my desk. Is this possible?
  • My wife has cubital tunnel syndrome and needs surgery. The thing is, she just had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. Does this mean that she's more susceptible to this type of injury?
  • Is there a way to prevent pressing on the nerve in your elbow? I rest my elbow on my desk at work and I get a tingling feeling in my elbow and arm.
  • What is more common, pressure on the wrist nerve or the elbow nerve? I know several people who have one or the other.
  • All of a sudden, I'm finding I can't pick up a penny or hold a piece of paper between my right thumb and index finger. I don't have any pain or other symptoms. What could be causing this to happen?
  • Have you ever heard of someone with nerve entrapment just suddenly getting better without treatment? I think that happened to me when I was sure I would end up with surgery. It looked like I had some kind of pressure on the median nerve in my forearm. I was getting ready to have the surgeon find what was pressing on the nerve and remove it. Then one day, I woke up and poof! It was gone. How cool is that? But what could have happened to cause that?
  • Dad just called and said Mom fell and broke her shoulder and her elbow. The elbow is a mess. He said it is a bicolumnar elbow fracture but none of us knows what that means. Can you explain?
  • I'm 10-years-old and I'm writing because my great-grandpa broke both sides of his elbow. They are going to have to do surgery. I'm going to be praying for him to have a good surgery. But maybe it would help if you could tell me what exactly they will be doing to him. I'm really, really worried.
  • I've lost 155 pounds and started weight-lifting and body building for the first time in my life. Unfortunately, I tore my left triceps muscle trying to bench press past my own personal record. So now I'm back to the drawing board. How long can I expect it will take to recover fully from this injury?
  • It's the weirdest thing. I woke up this morning with a big divet along the back of my elbow. It's about an inch above the pointy part of the elbow (the part you lean on the table). I did fall down yesterday but the place I scraped my elbow is on the other side of the pointy bone -- down along the forearm. The whole elbow hurts like the dickens and looks pretty puffy. What could this be?
  • I have some numbness and tingling in my ring finger and in my pinkie finger on the left hand. There's no pain but sometimes I can't straighten those two fingers. I went on-line and looked up carpal tunnel syndrome thinking that might be what I have -- but my symptoms don't match what it says for that. What else could be causing this problem?
  • As my grandma Loretta always used to say when she was upset, Shoot-a-bean! I had surgery two months ago to release some scar tissue around the nerve in my left elbow. It was a simple decompression operation on my ulnar nerve right by the funny bone. Well, this is no laughing matter because the symptoms have come back. Before I had numbness, tingling, and weakness of the ring and baby fingers. Now I have pain along with difficulty straightening those fingers. What do I do now?
  • My friend was diagnosed with a problem in her elbow that caused numbness in her fingers. She said it was something like carpal tunnel syndrome. How is this possible?
  • What causes repetitive stress nerve problems in the elbow?
  • My nephew fell off a swing and complained of severe pain in his elbow. When he was at the emergency, they didn't see anything on the x-ray and the doctor just splinted his arm for a few weeks because he said it looked like he had dislocated it. Well, my question is, wouldn't the doctor have seen the dislocation on the x-ray if it was dislocated?
  • I heard of a case of a child who had severe nerve problems in his arm after he dislocated his elbow. This wasn't seen until a few weeks after the accident and then it wasn't dealt with for several more weeks. How could the doctors not tell right away and why would they wait?
  • If someone has a badly broken arm or elbow dislocation and the doctor says you need surgery - what if you don't want surgery for whatever reason? Can your arm still be fixed?
  • I'm a second-string pitcher in the minor league hoping for a break and step up. But I've started experiencing elbow pain that the team doc thinks may be a torn ligament or at least a chronically irritated tendon. I could have surgery early and head the problem off at the pass. Or I could have a series of steroid injections to get me through until I get the boot up. What should I do?
  • I'm a die-hard baseball fan. I played on local league teams myself but finally had to throw the towel in last year. I'm only 35 but I just kept getting one injury after another. I see guys in their 40s still playing in the major league. How do these players keep it up? What's their secret?
  • My 13-year-old son got smashed in a soccer game by a player on his own team. He came off the field with his elbow stuck in a bent position. Turns out he has some problem called congenital radioulnar synostosis. The surgeon is saying they will have to open the elbow to fix it. Why can't it just heal on its own like other injuries?
  • I can't figure out what is causing my tennis elbow. I have it on both sides (in both elbows). I understand this problem doesn't just affect people who play tennis (I don't play), but I don't get why I have it in both arms.
  • I finally figured out that I have a pinched nerve in my neck AND tennis elbow he same time. For the longest time, we thought it was just tennis elbow so nothing we did for the elbow helped very much. What can I do for the neck problem to help the elbow?
  • I'm on a college tennis team that is ranked among the top 10 in the United States. Several of our team members are out with tennis elbow and I may be next. I'm looking for the fastest and best way to recover. What do you recommend?
  • I had an ultrasound study done on my left elbow because of chronic tennis elbow. I watched the screen while the test was being done, but I couldn't really tell what was going on. What kinds of things can the radiologist see with this problem that might help me?
  • What's the docking technique for repair of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of the elbow? That's what I'm scheduled to have next week. Is this the way most UCL injuries are treated?
  • Can you help us understand what's happening with our son? He's 1200 miles away at college on a baseball scholarship. They say he needs surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in his pitching arm. What does this mean?
  • I've been told I have radial tunnel syndrome and that's what's causing pain along the outside of my elbow. I've had it injected with steroids and I've seen a hand therapist but nothing has helped. The surgeon has suggested going in and cutting the interosseous nerve but I thought it was the radial nerve that's a problem. I didn't want to question the doc but I'm left wondering: are we on the right track here?
  • I've had carpal tunnel syndrome and now radial tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel problem was diagnosed right away and I had a successful surgery. But it was months and months before anyone could figure out what was causing the elbow pain. Is that typical?
  • Have you ever heard of the term Number Needed to Harm? The surgeon who wired my broken elbow back together used this phrase. It was how she decided which method to use when surgically repairing my elbow. I'm 12-years old and very interested in numbers and statistics. I'd like to understand this idea.
  • Can you explain something to me? Our four-year-old had surgery to pin his elbow. He broke it when he fell off the swingset at the park. There was a piece of bone that shattered and one that detached from the lower part of his humerus. I saw the X-rays after surgery and didn't see any pins at all -- just wires criss-crossing the breaks. Did they have to use wires instead of pins because it was such a mess inside?
  • Our eight-year-old fell while at the new skate park in our neighborhood. Broke her arm above the elbow. Had surgery to repair the problem but ended up with a funny curved look to the elbow. Should we do something about this? It's really just a cosmetic issue. She can use her arm fine.
  • We are very unhappy with the results of surgery for our son. He broke his elbow in what was called a supracondylar elbow fracture. They pinned it back together and put him in a cast. When he came out of the cast, the elbow looked good. But now a year later, it looks like it is stuck at an odd angle. Is this normal?
  • With limited health insurance, I'm trying to pick and choose carefully what tests and treatments I have for my elbow pain. We are trying to sort out what's causing the pain: neck or elbow? Tests done in the doctor's office haven't been able to answer the question. And I don't want surgery if I don't need it. What do you recommend?
  • I'm really frustrated because I've spent the last six months chasing around trying to get some relief from my elbow pain. It's been diagnosed as golfer's elbow though I understand this can happen in nongolfers like me. Why haven't my symptoms improved?
  • I dislocated my elbow and had a fairly simple surgery to put it back together. Now I'm in a sling but no one has told me how long I have to keep this on. What do you suggest?
  • What's a "simple" elbow dislocation? That's what they told us our son has after a fall onto his hand.
  • What can you tell me about osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the elbow in terms of how it is diagnosed and what happens over time with this condition? I understand what OCD is, but I don't know what to expect 2 years from now or even 10 years later.
  • What's the treatment for a ruptured biceps tendon and how long before I can get back to work? It just happened yesterday. Pulled the tendon right off the bone at the elbow. Saw the emergency room doctor and I'm scheduled to see the surgeon tomorrow.
  • I was pouring cement for my new deck and felt a tearing, pulling sensation in my right elbow. It happened just as I was lifting the wheelbarrow up to unload the cement. I finished the project but my arm is screaming at me and I have no strength left at all. What do you think happened?
  • I'm thinking about having both my elbows replaced. I haven't heard much about elbow replacements. Never even met anyone who has one (though I know quite a few people with new hips or knees). How well do the elbows hold up? Do they last as long as hip and knee replacements?
  • Who is the best person to see for nonoperative treatment of tennis elbow? I'd really like to avoid surgery if at all possible.
  • I am going to see my surgeon next week about having something done on my elbow. I haven't been able to golf for months now because of tennis elbow (well, I guess they call it golfer's elbow when you golf). What kind of surgery can they do for this problem?
  • I'm looking for any information I can find on an elbow injury that our son got in a wrestling tournament. Tweaked his elbow real good. Ended up with a torn ligament on the inside of his elbow. They call it the UCL. We'll be taking him to the ortho doctor on Monday. What will they be able to do for him?
  • What's the success rate for the Tommy John elbow surgery? I know I have to have it because I failed therapy and I was very diligent with my exercises. I'm wondering how likely it is I'll be able to get back on the team and play real ball again.
  • Well, I made it through the first 90-days after an elbow replacement surgery. They say that's the biggest time period for serious problems. Now that I'm over that hurdle, what should I be aware of next? I would hate to be blindsided in the next 90-days by something I didn't know could happen.
  • Please be a straight shooter and tell me what's the worst thing that could happen to me if I have an elbow joint replacement. I know these are new compared with hip and knee replacements. I'd like to know up front what to expect.
  • I have bursitis in my left elbow that comes and goes. The pointy part of the elbow puffs up like a water balloon. Then it slowly goes away. Is there anyway I can get rid of this problem once and for all?
  • I can't seem to get my physician to drain my elbow for me. The tip of the left elbow is boggy and tender from bursitis. I just feel certain if she would get the fluid out of there, it would heal up on its own. Should I go see someone else who would do this for me?
  • I've heard that flat-ground throwing as a warm up for pitching isn't a good idea. I've already had one elbow injury from pitching. I'd like to do anything I can to avoid another injury. Is it a problem because of the way the pitch is delivered from the flat compared to the mound or something else?
  • I'm a college-level assistant baseball coach with two pitchers on the bench with elbow injuries. I've been assigned the task of helping these guys get back on the field. What's the current thinking about rehab and recovery using flat-ground throwing? I've heard some say work on speed while others go for distance. Should we do both? Should we work on one first before the other?
  • I'm a little nervous about seeing the doctor next week for my elbow. Two years ago, I was thrown off a horse and fractured/dislocated my left elbow. After months of rehab, I still have a very stiff elbow with limited motion and even less strength. For me to lift a single bale of hay by myself is impossible. So I'm going back to the surgeon for an arthroscopic exam but wondering what I might be facing.
  • I've got a bugger of a bad elbow I need help with. Hurt it in a car accident and can't straighten or bend it all the way. Went to a chiropractor and occupational therapist but still couldn't make any progress. I'm stuck literally and figuratively. Where do I go from here?
  • I'm having trouble finding a surgeon in my area to consider doing an elbow replacement on me. If I needed a new knee or hip: no problem! But no one around here does them. Are they really that tricky?
  • What's the best way to deal with an elbow replacement that is coming loose? The surgeon says it's not from an infection, so I guess that's good. It will be a week before I can get back in to find out what's next. What can you tell me?
  • What's the difference between steroid injections and plasma injections for tennis elbow? I've had one steroid injection so far with no results but I don't want to leap at plasma injections unless they will do some good.
  • I have tennis elbow (really from playing too much tennis). I've been told my treatment options include: rest, wearing a brace, physical therapy, steroid injections, or something new called plasma injection. What do you recommend? I don't really know enough about each one of these to pick one.
  • I dislocated my left elbow two weeks ago in a motorcycle accident. The surgeon was able to get the elbow back in place, put me on some antiinflammatories, and gave me a splint to wear. I'm two weeks out and ready to get rid of the splint but a little worried that if I move it too soon, I might reinjure it. My doc says it's okay but I'm checking the Internet to see what else I can find.
  • I have what the doctor calls a "simple" elbow dislocation. I get what is meant by that -- no surgery to put it back in place, no fractures. But will I have any problems later because of this event?
  • I had my elbow joint replaced about two years ago. It's working pretty well. I don't have full motion and somedays are more painful than others. But for the most part, it's better than the terrible arthritis I had to put up with before the replacement. My problem today is that when I got out of bed this morning, I felt a distinct crack in my elbow I've never felt before. What could cause this?
  • I fell while at the county fair this afternoon. Wouldn't you know it? I fell on my elbow that was replaced six months ago. I guess it was a blessing in disguise because the bone around the implant had come loose. It's on the forearm side. At least that's how it was explained to me. They think I'll need more surgery. What will they do now?
  • I saw a hand surgeon for what I thought was carpal tunnel syndrome. My ring finger and baby finger were both going to sleep all the time. But she says I have something else called cubital tunnel syndrome. I was told diagnostic testing isn't all it's cracked up to be. So they may treat it with medications and physical therapy. Should I get a second opinion? Is an actual diagnosis important?
  • I am an operating room nurse and must rely on fast reflexes to hand off instruments to the surgeon. Lately, the ring and pinkie fingers have been going numb. If I straighten my elbow right away, it seems to help. What can I do to avoid losing the use of my hand for work? I don't mind telling you I'm pretty panicked I might lose my job.
  • Can you please explain to me how I ended up with tennis elbow when I don't even play tennis? And what's the best treatment for this problem?
  • I had chronic tennis elbow for months and months. After trying everything else, I decided to go for the new whole blood injection therapy. The pain was much, much worse right away and then got better after about a week. Can you explain why this treatment makes you worse before better?
  • I'm looking into all the different treatments for an elbow problem I have. Basically, there is a hole in my joint cartilage down to the bone. The X-rays and MRIs show a fragment that has almost completely detached but is still hanging on by a thread. I'm young (22-years-old) and active (play recreational baseball, intramural volleyball, run, ski). I'd like to get past the pain and get my elbow motion back. So what do you recommend?
  • How do you decide when it's time to have surgery for a problem? I have a free-floating bone fragment in my elbow joint. For the most part, I'm okay but sometimes the elbow locks up until I can get that piece to move around. There's always pain but I can live with that. The loss of motion bothers me the most.
  • I have suffered with chronic cubital tunnel syndrome. I feel like an expert on the subject. But what I can't decide is whether or not to have the nerve transposition surgery. Two surgeons have recommended this to me now. I just don't know. What do you advise?
  • I've heard that ulnar nerve surgery for severe, chronic "funny elbow syndrome" isn't always successful. I'm wondering if there's any way to predict by my age or how long I've had the problem just how well surgery will work for me? Is there a formula or some kind of computer program I can plug my numbers in and see what comes out?
  • I'm a mid-50s guy in good shape, especially for my age. I gotta admit I'm doing everything I can to hold off the aging process. There are several other guys like me at the club where I work out and lift weights who ended up tearing their biceps tendon lifting. I don't want that to happen to me. Is it really age-related or is there something about the way they were lifting that caused the problem?
  • I had the strangest thing happen to me. I was lifting my sewing machine (a 10-pound lite-sew) and my right biceps tendon ruptured. I've lifted that machine many, many times without having any problems. It's not really that heavy. The surgeon who repaired it said it was just a fluke. But now I'm wondering if it happened so easily once, could it happen again?
  • I've heard you shouldn't have steroid injections for tennis elbow anymore. But that's what my PA has suggested. Should I do it?
  • How can you tell when it's time to have surgery for tennis elbow? I'm just not getting better on my own or with therapy.
  • I don't know if it's the way my body is put together or what but I keep hitting my funny bone and the bone hurts all the time but I think I also have some nerve damage starting to develop. What can be done about this?
  • Our 16-year-old son has been practicing knife throwing. Although he has always been very careful with this activity, he ended up slicing a nerve near the elbow. The nerve was not completely severed so we are watching and waiting before considering surgery. How is this wait-and-see approach decided on and how long does it last?
  • Over the years I have come to depend on your service for advice for my family but now I need some help for myself. I had an X-ray to find out why my elbow was stiff and locking up on me. Looks like I have some osteoarthritis in that joint with some bone spurs and a thinner joint space. What is your best advice for me for treatment?
  • I am considering surgery for a bad case of elbow osteoarthritis. I'd like to know up front what to expect before going this route. What kind of results do people get? What happens down the road?
  • Every single one of our four children have dislocated one of their elbows in the last two years. Fortunately they were the kind that could be popped back in place easily. We can hardly believe this has happened so many times but wonder if there's some genetic defect that can account for it. They were all activity-related (sports mostly). Is this a common hereditary problem or just a fluke?
  • What is a "simple" dislocation? That's what the surgeon called our 10-year-old son's elbow dislocation from skate boarding. It didn't look simple and it certainly didn't feel simple to our son. So I'm curious where this term came from.
  • My father and I were out hunting and there was an accident that was my fault. Dad ended up with a nerve injury near his elbow. His hand still doesn't work very well. I'm searching on the internet for any information I can find that might help him and I found your site. Can you help me?
  • It's been three months since my husband caught his arm in a piece of farm equipment and ripped a hole in his arm. Nothing was broken but the nerve near his elbow was chewed up pretty good. We are in a wait-and-see mode with treatment. Hand therapy for now. Maybe surgery later. But how long do we wait before we push the envelope and go for the more aggressive (surgical) treatment? I'm not as patient as my farmer boy.
  • I work as a seamstress in a home business that supports me and my 3 kids. I've been having terrible pain on the little finger side of my hand. And I'm starting to get numbness in my ring and little fingers. I can hardly do my work. I saw a doc who wants to do nerve testing on me. Should I go for it?
  • I've had all the tests and it's for sure I have that funny elbow tunnel syndrome. I'm scheduled for surgery but still wondering if I should do it or not. Is there any way to tell ahead of time if the surgery will work?
  • I was pulling weeds in my garden by yanking on them with both hands when I heard and felt a pop in my left elbow. It swelled up and when that went away I find I can't straighten my elbow all the way. It just feels stuck. What could be causing this? What should I do?
  • I took my 13-year-old son in to see a specialist because he was complaining of elbow pain and it was affecting his pitching for his team. The surgeon poked and prodded until I was sure if the kid didn't already have a problem, he would develop one. Is all this type of hemming and hawing around really necesary? I'm just wondering.
  • Have you ever heard of "computer elbow?" I think that's what I've got. I switched using the mouse at my home computer from the right to the left hand because my neck was bothering me. Now my left elbow is aching, aching, aching. What do you suggest?
  • I am having a physical therapist work on my elbows. They tend to flare up whenever I spend too much time on the computer. She has given me a special gadget I can use to rub my tendon that really seems to do the trick. I forgot to ask the last time I was in the clinic how and why this works so well. Can you offer any explanation?
  • According to the internet, one of my favorite baseball pitchers is out for the season with a left elbow injury. The blog posting says it's a UCL tear. What's that and will he really be able to get back into action next season?
  • I've been a baseball pitcher on a local level since I was in third grade. But now in my late 30s, I'm starting to get some weird symptoms. At first, it was just a cold sensation in the ring and pinkie fingers of my pitching hand. Now I'm noticing I can't throw as fast or as accurate as I did even last season. What could be causing these symptoms and what should I do?
  • I read somewhere that chronic tennis elbow isn't really the result of inflammation. I'm wondering if the same thing is true for my knee pain from arthritis. Is it possible I don't really have active inflammation in that knee?
  • I bumped my elbow on a sharp piece of metal at work and ended up with an elbow infection of all things. They call it septic elbow bursitis. I'm on antibiotics but I'd like to get off as soon as possible. How long should I be taking these meds?
  • My husband is a carpenter and developed elbow swelling after I dug a splinter out from the back of the arm. It wasn't a very big sliver but he's got a 101-degree temperature today and says it feels like he has the flu. The elbow is swollen and red. What kind of home treatment can we apply?
  • I work as a self-employed construction contractor. He ruptured his biceps tendon at the elbow while lifting something heavy. How long before he can return to work? With him being gone, we are all off work. I can't afford to be without employment for more than a week before I'll have to find something else.
  • I ruptured my biceps tendon where the biceps attaches to the front of the elbow. I've been told to expect a six-month recovery time. It seems like a simple injury. So why does it take so long to get back to normal?
  • I'm struggling to get back the last 20 degrees of elbow extension I lost when I fell and hurt my arm. I can't make the arm straighten no matter what I do. What's going on inside there anyway?
  • I had a car-bike accident eight weeks ago (I was on the bike) and I still have some significant elbow pain and stiffness. I saw an orthopedic surgeon who recommended physical therapy but what will the therapist do that I can't do myself?
  • I wish I had never had surgery for my elbow problem. Why don't surgeons tell patients they can get worse instead of better? I have something called cubital tunnel syndrome. Nothing helped reduce the pain, numbness, or weakness so I opted for the surgery. Big mistake. Please tell your readers not to have surgery for this problem. It isn't worth it!
  • I just came back from a hand surgeon's office where I was evaluated for possible surgery for a problem called cubital tunnel syndrome. I have some time to think this over before scheduling anything. The surgeon told me there can be problems with this type of surgery and that there is a chance I could get worse instead of better. How do I tell if I'm one of the people who would have complications?
  • Do you think it's reasonable that my tennis elbow is going to take a full year to heal? That's what both the surgeon and the physical therapist said. That seems like a very long time to me. I usually heal fairly quickly from most other injuries. Why does this take so long?
  • If I had surgery for my chronic tennis elbow, what exactly would they do? I've tried everything else without success. I don't really know what else to do.
  • I'm self-insured so trying to spend my money wisely with what seems like a bad case of tennis elbow. Do you recommend X-rays? MRIs? CT scans? What's the best route to take when dealing with this particular problem?
  • My orthopedic surgeon wants to do an arthroscopic, percutaneous release of the tendon that's causing my tennis elbow. The whole thing (as it was described to me) sounds too easy. What am I missing here? Is it really possible that this pain I've suffered will be gone after a quick snip, snip?
  • I have something the doctors call an "unstable" OCD fragment in my elbow. I am being evaluated at a sports medicine center for the best way to treat this problem so I can get back to competitive sports. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions for the best, fastest way to recover from this problem.
  • I'm having surgery next week for a medium-sized chunk of bone and cartilage that got knocked out of my elbow. It's an OCD injury. What are my chances for getting back into pitching for my team and how soon?
  • I finally found out why I've been having so much trouble with my elbow. I have been having pain anytime I extend my elbow, push a door open, or try to throw the ball for my dogs. Turns out I have a torn ulnar collateral ligament. I guess it's something they see with javelin throwers and pitchers. But I did take a fall last winter on the ice and that may have done it for me. What's the best way to treat this problem this late in the game?
  • I've heard that the majority of athletes who have surgery to reconstruct their torn UCLs are able to get back to serious competitive play. Can you verify this for me? Is it really true?
  • When should a person with a biceps tendon rupture have surgery? My tear is down by the elbow and I use the arm a lot.
  • I am a surgical scrub nurse so I have a little extra knowledge of orthopedic problems. I want to ask about surgery for my niece. She has a type two fracture of the elbow (capitellum and trochlea are still together but broken off from the rest of the bone. Her mother (my sister) is a physical therapist and wants her to have surgery. I always recommend people avoid surgery. What's best in a case like this?
  • Our family has come up against what we've been told is a "rare" problem: a coronal shear fracture of the elbow. The surgeon is going to put some compression screws to hold it all together until healing takes place. We've been warned that there could be some complications and problems down the road but that this is rare. What kind of problems are we talking about here?
  • I have kind of a delicate question that I haven't quite gotten the nerve up to ask my surgeon. I'm scheduled for an elbow replacement. I've done all kinds of other stuff and nothing has helped -- medications, physical therapy, arthroscopic surgery, etc. I've been told there are some restrictions with this implant: no lifting heavy items, no push-ups or heavy loads through the joint, no bowling. What about sexual activities? I notice it does usually require me to put my weight through my arms. Is that going to be a problem?
  • I dislocated my left elbow during a wrestling tournament in high school. The orthopedic surgeon put it back in place for me so I didn't have to have surgery. But then I mangled the same elbow in a motocross accident about five years ago. So now at age 35, I have arthritis worse than my grandma. I asked my doctor about an elbow replacement. She said I am 'too young' for that. She gave me a prescription for some antiinflammatories. Is that all I can do?
  • I'm 61-years old, so I'm no spring chicken but I'm also no wimp and stay active each and every day. Unfortunately, last fall, I fell and broke my elbow. The radial head was broken into tiny bits and pieces. I had surgery to put it all back together and I'm still in rehab but wondering if I'll ever get my motion back. What is a realistic expectation for something like this?
  • I'm new at this Internet thing, so I hope this reaches you because I need some help. I broke my elbow (radial head fracture) into a couple pieces that could be pinned back together. It's been six months now and I'm still stiff as a board -- can't bend or straighten all the way either. I did (and still do) my exercise program. What's holding up the works?
  • My 69-year-old father thinks he may have dislocated his elbow but popped it back in place. Now whenever he goes to get up from his chair, he cannot push up with his arm on that side without feeling like it's going to pop out again. What do you make of this kind of problem?
  • We are trying to decide on a surgeon for our 14-year-old son who has a torn lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury of the elbow from playing sports. There are two active orthopedic surgeons in our community. One is young and closer to being out of school. The other is older but with more experience. How do the older docs keep up with new techniques? It would be great if we could find out he has experience and recent know-how.
  • I saw a video at my surgeon's office on the arthroscopic procedure she plans to do on my elbow. I have a bit of loose cartilage in there that keeps getting caught so she is going to remove it. In the video, the patient was completely covered in surgical linens so that all that was visible was the forearm from the elbow down. This is probably a silly question, but is that really necessary?
  • My surgeon wants to do an arthroscopic exam on my elbow to find out what's wrong. I know this is supposed to be a simple procedure. But I seem to be the kind of person where nothing is ever very simple. Can you tell me more about what to expect?
  • I am stumped and so is my surgeon (I think). I have a case of chronic pain from tennis elbow along the outside of my elbow. A tiny tissue biopsy showed there isn't any inflammation. So why hasn't anything we've done for treatment helped me? I even had an epicondylectomy (if I spelled that right) and still it hurts. Do you have any possible explanation?
  • I'm looking for any information I can find to help me avoid surgery for chronic tennis elbow. I've spent the last year chasing after every other kind of treatment but nothing has helped. The surgeon has recommended lopping off the tendon and a piece of the bone where the tendon attaches. I'm kind of attached to my tendons and bones and don't want to go whacking them off. Is there anything else you can suggest?
  • Our daughter is just starting a rehab program at a sports physical therapy clinic for her tennis elbow. She's actually a volleyball player but they still call it tennis elbow. We are wondering what to expect and how long she'll be in this program.
  • I just started a rehab program for golfer's elbow. The physical therapist told me: if it hurts, don't do it. If it hurts the next day, back off -- you overdid it. Does that make sense to you? What about the old saying, "no pain, no gain"?
  • I just watched a You Tube video of my brother who dislocated his elbow in a high school wrestling match. Gruesome! He's so strong, I can't figure out how this could have happened. If I download it to you, could you look at it and tell me what you think?
  • I am a wrestling coach at a mid-sized high school (graduating class of 300 seniors). Every year it seems one or two of my players dislocates his elbow. The football coach says this is two too many and I must be doing something wrong in my coaching. It's light-hearted teasing but it does make me wonder. Is this typical? What are other wrestling coaches telling you?
  • I was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. It seems to have settled in my right elbow. The doctor wants me to start what she calls "aggressive" therapy taking new medications. The meds are called DMARD. I don't really want to take drugs. Isn't there a more natural way to deal with this problem?
  • I have a very persistent case of tennis elbow -- probably from my work at a meat packing plant. I've tried a couple of steroid injections. They helped for about a week and then the pain started again. I've heard there's a new blood injection treatment I could try but that it is more painful than the steroid injections. What can you tell me about this?
  • What's the best way to get relief from tennis elbow? I'm retired so my job doesn't depend on getting my arm back to normal but I do like to golf, fish, and play tennis.
  • My husband is a construction worker with a good paying job and no other skills. So his job is vital to our family support. He has been off for three months now due to a torn biceps tendon. After surgery, he's been in physical therapy to regain his strength needed for the job. The question I have is this -- X-rays show he has some bone forming inside the muscle where they reattached the tendon to the bone. Will this add or subtract to his strength? I guess I'm worried that this will cause further problems.
  • I am an anatomy instructor in my first teaching year looking for any information you may have on biceps tendon tears. My hope is to provide a lecture that covers both the anatomy with some information on what happens during and after tendon injuries. What can you recommend?
  • I am wondering if you can help me with something I don't really understand. I'm having some pain, weakness, and numbness in the left forearm and hand. The surgeon says it's either pronator syndrome or interosseous syndrome. More tests are being ordered. Should I have all these tests? Does it really make a difference?
  • Please give me a realistic understanding of what I might expect with a diagnosis of pronator syndrome. Will I get better? If so, how long will this likely take?
  • I see many movie stars who have BOTOX done on their faces. My doctor has recommended this as a treatment for my chronic tennis elbow. I thought BOTOX was to smooth out wrinkles and puff up lips. How does it help with tennis elbow?
  • I work in a fish factory in Alaska. Half the women on my shift are out at least once or twice every week due to "tennis elbow." How is this possible? No one plays tennis up here...we are too busy working! I think they are faking it to get a day off. What do you think?
  • I had endoscopic surgery to release pressure on my elbow that was causing elbow pain and an electric shock sensation down my arm. The pain is better and the shocking is gone but it still hurts, especially when I bend my arm. If I sleep with my elbow bent at night, I wake up in the morning and can hardly function for an hour or two. Is there anything else that can be done?
  • I'm supposed to have surgery for my elbow pain and hand numbness. The diagnosis is cubital tunnel syndrome. They are going to stick a needle into the area that has a tiny TV attached to it so the surgeon can see what's going on in there. The plan is to cut any bands of tissue that might be pressing on or wrapped around the nerve. This poking around inside my body scares me. What do you think of it?
  • I was very lucky to be able to watch my own surgery and listen to the two surgeons discuss my case. I had a rupture of the biceps tendon that pulled some of the cartilage around my shoulder socket away from the bone. They were able to reattach the tissue and hold it in place with what they called anchors. The thing that I was most surprised by was how long it took them to decide what to do once they saw all the details of my anatomy. I guess there were a few surprises that everything wasn't exactly "normal" or expected. Does this happen very often or am I truly so unique?
  • I have a fracture at the bottom of my humerus that hasn't healed in six-months and likely isn't going to heal. The surgeon calls this a "nonunion" fracture. I am being encouraged to consider having an elbow replacement. The other option is surgery to pin or wire the broken bones together in hopes that might help with healing. What do you recommend?
  • My nephew is a young 40-something but already in need of an elbow replacement. Besides pitching ball for years, he has done construction for the last 20 years. Sounds like overuse and injuries has ruined the joint. My question is more of a worry/wonder because I had an elbow replacement about 10 years ago (I was considerably older than 40) and I can't say it was a very good result. Not sure I would have done it if I had it to do over again. Should I say anything to him?
  • I recently dislocated my elbow and had to wear a splint for ten days. I am now out of the splint and my elbow is very stiff. My doctor recommended a dynamic turnbuckle splint to help regain my range of motion. What is this and are there other options?
  • I have been wearing a static progressive splint on my elbow for three months and have only gained 25 degrees range of motion. I would like to gain at least 20 degrees more range but am discouraged as in the past two weeks my progress has been very slow. Is it possible to gain more range at this point?
  • I am in my 50’s and have dislocated my elbow on multiple occasions.  I have tried everything from physical therapy to bracing to avoiding the activities that I love.  Is there a better solution out there for me?
  • I have significant elbow arthritis and my surgeon wants to give me a new elbow. What will the recovery be like?
  • I recently underwent a surgical repair for a fractured ulna and dislocated elbow. What should I expect with long term recovery and using my elbow again?
  • I am having difficulty regaining my range of motion after repair of an ulnar fracture and dislocated elbow. What can be done to help regain my range of motion?
  • I was just diagnosed with golfers elbow, was given a cortisone injection and referred to physical therapy, what should I expect?
  • My elbow hurts every time I try to grip something tightly and sometimes I get numbness in my hand, could this be medial epicondylitis?
  • I was told that I have compression of my radial nerve causing some numbness in my hand. Where is the compression and how do they diagnose this?



    *Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.


    All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Medical Multimedia Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Medical Multimedia Group, LLC and used herein by permission.