Health TipsLateral Elbow Joint Pain

Lateral Elbow Joint Pain – If you’ve ever noticed a pain on the outer part of the elbow, you may have lateral epicondylitis. This problem is caused by overuse of the muscles of the forearm, which extend the hand and wrist. Microtears of the tendon tissue at the lateral epicondyle result in a strained joint and irritation. This condition can also affect the muscles that extend the wrist and lift the arm.

Early Phase Treatment

Radiographs may show calcification in the lateral portion of the elbow joint. X-rays are useful in ruling out an inflammatory or infective arthropathy. Radiographs may also show calcification at the attachment of the common extensor tendon. A doctor can perform further tests based on the patient’s symptoms and examination findings. The diagnosis of lateral epicondylitis can be made clinically by using radiographs of the elbow.

In the initial phase of treatment, the radial head was moved posteriorly through a Kocher interval. In addition, the lateral collateral ligament complex (including the common extensor from the lateral epicondyle) was exposed. Provocation stress at 30 degrees flexion caused the radial head to translate posterior. The annular ligament was intact. The lateral ligament complex was repaired using a bone anchor with No.2 polyester braided non-absorbable suture, which was applied in a running locked fashion at the origin of the ligament and tendon. The bone anchor was also used to fix an avulsed fragment of bone.

There are several ways to expose the lateral elbow compartment. The posterolateral approach exposes the radial head and neck of the ulna. The anconeus muscle is also exposed. The Boyd approach is a more common method. It exposes the proximal third of the ulna and radial head. The radial head is exposed via the radial radioulnar joint through one incision.

The most common form of posterolateral rotatory instability is referred to as chronic posterolateral rotatory instability. This condition is often induced by a fall on an outstretched hand. This causes posterior displacement of the radial head, which disrupts the lateral-sided stabilisers. A pivot-shift test, push-up test, and tabletop test may help in diagnosis. An MRI, on the other hand, helps the surgeon plan for surgery.

How to Avoid Further Damage to the Joints

AO/OTA classifies lateral epicondyle fractures as 13A1.1. These fractures do not involve the joint and are equivalent to avulsion of the lateral collateral ligament. Further, they are characterized by pain, point tenderness, and abnormal opening of the elbow joint. A patient with this condition should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. It can be difficult to recover without the appropriate treatment. However, it is very important to avoid further damage to the joint.

The pain associated with lateral elbow joint snapping is often caused by an anterior capsule pull or a torn or loose annular ligament. Although this can be mistaken, the pain and associated symptoms are more likely a result of a torn or lax annular ligament. An MRI with a T2-weighted sequence or an arthrogram may be needed to rule out this condition. In addition, a surgical procedure will be needed if you suspect a ruptured lateral capsule.

After obtaining a diagnosis, the surgeon performs the procedure. After identifying the location of the tear, the medial collateral ligament is repaired. A 3.5 mm cortical screw is used to reattach the ligament to the bone. The remaining joint capsule is then exposed. The implant is then inserted into the joint. The skin is then clipped, revealing the lateral and medial radial tubes.

Anti-Inflammatory Medication for Pain Relief

The patient should be given an anti-inflammatory medication for pain relief. If these methods do not help, surgery may be the best option. The surgeon will use an incision made on the outside of the elbow to explore the tendons. If degenerated tissue is present, the surgeon will remove the tissue or cut the tendon where it connects to the bone. The surgeon may also remove a small portion of bone to improve blood flow.

The elbow joint consists of three bones: the upper arm bone (humerus) and the forearm bone (ulna). Major tendons attach to the humerus and help stabilize the joint. The lateral epicondyle helps attach the tendons to the wrist. Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, causes inflammation of the lateral epicondyle and is often mistaken for a bacterial infection.

An additional cause of lateral elbow pain is overthrowing. In young baseball catchers, repeated overthrowing may cause epiphyseal injuries to the lateral elbow joint. Awareness of this problem will help physicians distinguish between lateral elbow joint pain and OCD of the humeral capitellum. Similarly, immature catchers should be avoided, as this may result in a later onset of the problem.


Kotnis, Nikhil A., Mary M. Chiavaras, and Srinivasan Harish. “Lateral epicondylitis and beyond: imaging of lateral elbow pain with clinical-radiologic correlation.” Skeletal radiology 41.4 (2012): 369-386.

Hudak, Pamela L., Donald C. Cole, and A. Ted Haines. “Understanding prognosis to improve rehabilitation: the example of lateral elbow pain.” Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 77.6 (1996): 586-593.


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