Our Services / Elbow Pain

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Elbow Pain services offered in Leawood and Merriam, KS

Elbow pain is often brought on by injuries like fractures and repetitive strain. Orthopedic shoulder surgeon H. Scott Ellsworth, MD, of the Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, can assess your elbow condition at his offices in Leawood, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Ellsworth is an expert in treating elbow conditions using nonsurgical and minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques. Call the Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance today or book an appointment online to get expert help for your elbow pain.

Elbow Pain Q & A

What is elbow pain?

Your elbow joint contains bones, muscles, cartilage, and connective tissues. A blow, overuse, or chronic disease affecting these structures causes elbow pain. The common causes of elbow pain include:

Fractures and dislocations

Fractures are breaks in the bones that form the elbow. The joint can also dislocate, where the bones forming the joint separate.

Medial ulnar collateral ligament (MUCL) injury

The MUCL on the inside of the elbow connects your upper and lower arm bones (the humerus and ulna). Injuries of the MUCL are common in athletes who throw overhead a lot, like baseball players.

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

Tennis elbow is tendinitis (inflammation) in the connective tissue attaching your forearm muscles to your elbow bones. It’s caused by repeated wrist and arm movements over a long period. This overuse leads to tiny tears in the tendon.

Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)

Golfer’s elbow is similar to tennis elbow. Overusing the forearm muscles and tendons puts stress on the common flexor tendon. This causes inflammation and pain on the inside of your elbow.

Little League elbow (medial apophysitis)

Little League elbow is caused by repeated throwing. The repetitive motion damages children’s ligaments and can fracture the growth plates at the ends of their bones. Pain and swelling affect the inside of the elbow.

Osteochondritis dissecans

Osteochondritis dissecans is a repetitive throwing condition. It happens when there’s not enough blood supply to the cartilage cushioning the ends of your bones. Without blood to keep it healthy, sections of cartilage peel away or break off. This causes pain on the outside of the elbow.

Elbow pain can also be a symptom of conditions like osteoarthritis.

How is elbow pain treated?

To ease your elbow pain, Dr. Ellsworth diagnoses the cause and determines how severe your condition is. He then creates a suitable treatment plan that can include:

  • Rest and activity changes
  • Ice and heat
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Splint, cast, or brace
  • Physical therapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Steroid injections

These treatments are effective in easing or managing elbow pain for most patients. If they aren’t working for you, or the injury is too severe, Dr. Ellsworth might recommend surgery.

What surgery would I need for elbow pain?

Dr. Ellsworth mainly uses minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to treat elbow pain. This approach has many benefits, including less pain and a faster recovery after surgery.

He repairs soft-tissue damage and fractures and removes bone fragments and loose tissue. Reconstructive surgery might be needed for some injuries. For example, UCL reconstruction (also called Tommy John surgery) repairs a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament.

Call the Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance today or book an appointment online for an expert assessment of your elbow pain.