Our elbows are complex and necessary joints, but they are susceptible to a high number of conditions that can reduce or restrict their use. The joint itself may be injured, and the tendons and other tissues that make up the joint can become inflamed or tender, resulting in flexor tendon injuries, tennis elbow, or cubital tunnel syndrome. These conditions can range from being a temporary annoyance to debilitating, and treatment can range from splints or adjusting behavior up to surgery.
Flexor Tendon Injuries
The muscles and tendons that move our fingers start up near the elbow. If these tendons are cut or injured, finger movement may be lost or become painful. Deep cuts that sever the tendons, or their connection to bone or muscle, may require surgery for our fingers to work properly or at all.
Prosthetics and Amputation
If the arm, including the elbow, needs replacement, modern treatment can provide many options. Most often, the amputation is down above or below the elbow. Losing an arm, or part of one, no longer means a major loss in quality of living.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
The "funny bone," inside the elbow, may put pressure on a nerve that then produces tingling, numbness, or sensations of pain. This particular nerve is in a vulnerable location and can be easily pressed against the bone. This can result in a temporary "pins and needles" feeling, or can lead to permanent and painful sensations.
An injury to the tendons that connect the muscles between the elbow and wrist can arise from many sources. The tendons that attach to a muscle that works our wrist are anchored to a bone on the outside of our elbow, and if this connection becomes weak, use of the wrist can become quite painful.