Elbow Arthritis

Arthritis of the elbow joint is not that common as knee or hip joint.

If you are facing problems in your elbow during the basic daily routine activities like holding stuff, swing a hammer or playing tennis, or any other elbow movement, the reason can be elbow arthritis.

Causes for elbow arthritis

  • Direct injury to the elbow joint
  • Wear and tear of the cartilage of the elbow joint
  • History of elbow dislocation and further lead to arthritis
  • Any autoimmune disease or uric acid accumulation in the elbow joint
  • Any history of elbow fracture or fracture of arm/forearm. because there is long immobilization of the elbow joint due to fracture
  • Any infection

Types of elbow joint arthritis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Gout
  • Lupus
  • Post-traumatic arthritis

Symptoms of elbow arthritis

  • Pain in the elbow joint especially during movement
  • Swelling around the elbow joint
  • Stiffness of the elbow joint
  • There is a clicking or popping sound of the elbow joint
  • Pain increase during the extension or rotatory movement of the elbow
  • There is locking in the elbow joint or a giving way sensation in the elbow joint
  • You can also feel a tingling or numbness in the ring and little finger


  • Physical examination by your doctor, your doctor will also ask for your symptoms and your history
  • X-ray is suggested by your doctor to check the joint space and alignment and if there is any bone injury its visible in the x-ray
  • MRI may be suggested by your doctor if there are chances of soft tissue damage


  • Conservative
      Treatment depends on the type of arthritis and cause of arthritis.

    • Heat therapy to relieve the pain and stiffness
    • Medication to reduce the pain and inflammation as prescribed by your doctor
    • Your doctor will also prescribe elbow support or brace as extra support to the joint
    • Physical therapy exercises will help a lot in maintaining and improving the elbow joint movement and enhancing the muscle strength
  • Surgical
      If conservative treatment is not working then surgery may be required.

    • Arthroscopy
    • Synovectomy
    • Arthroplasty

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