The elbow is a complex joint of the upper limb, formed by the articulation of the long bone of the upper arm or humerus, and the two bones of the forearm - the radius and ulna. It is one of the important joints of the upper limb and is involved in basic movements such as bending and extending the arm, and rotating the forearm.
The common symptoms of injury to the elbow joint and its surrounding structures include swelling and pain, which may extend from the elbow to the forearm and palm and be aggravated by movements of the wrist. Sometimes, instability of the joint may also be seen.
Some common elbow injuries include:
Elbow Fractures: A fracture is a common injury to the elbow. Elbow fractures may result from a fall onto an outstretched wrist, a direct impact to the elbow, or a twisting injury. Elbow fractures cause severe pain, swelling, tenderness and pain with movement. If a fracture is suspected, immediate intervention by your doctor is necessary. Surgery is often required if bone displacement is observed.
Golf Injuries to the Hand, Wrist or Elbow: Golf, a popular sport, involves the action of the wrist. Insufficient strength in the forearms is the major cause for wrist and hand injuries in golfers. Common injuries in golfers include:
- Tennis Elbow/Golfer's Elbow : Tennis elbow is the inflammation of muscles on the outside of the elbow, whereas golfer’s elbow is tendinitis on the inner side of the elbow. Overuse of the arms or a traumatic blow to the hand can cause either of these conditions. These injuries cause severe pain and tenderness of the affected muscles with pain that radiates down into the forearm, particularly with the use of the hand and wrist. Adequate rest and immobility of the affected part help the muscles to recover, while modification of activities helps in healing. Heat therapy, followed by stretching and strengthening exercises and ice massage may also be beneficial. Pain medications may be recommended to relieve pain and inflammation.
- Tendonitis : Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon. It is usually treated with adequate rest, splinting, ice application, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce
- Hook of the hamate fracture: Fracture of the hook of the hamate bone, one of the small bones of the wrist, is another injury common in golfers. The hook of the hamate bone protrudes toward the palm, and is susceptible to injury from the club on a hard hit to the ground as the handle crosses over the bony hook when gripping the club. A splint or cast may be used if a fracture is present. If there is continued pain, surgery is usually performed to remove the broken bone fragments.
Any problems causing pain, swelling, discoloration, numbness or tingling, or abnormal position of the hand, wrist, or elbow that lasts more than 2 or 3 days should be evaluated by your doctor.