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Tag: Olecranon Bursitis

Elbows General

5 Common Conditions that May Require Elbow Surgery

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Most elbow pain is temporary, but persistent pain or discomfort that affects your quality of life may require elbow surgery.

We treat several common conditions that may require elbow surgery at our southeast Michigan offices. Make an appointment to see our elbow surgeon in Macomb Township, Warren, Howell, or West Bloomfield for the following treatments or a diagnosis of your condition.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Surgery

Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when there is too much pressure on the ulnar nerve, which runs along the ulna bone in the forearm and enters the hand near the pinky and ring fingers.

Causes of cubital tunnel syndrome include leaning on hand surfaces or bending the elbow for an extended period of time, or you may develop cubital tunnel syndrome due to an anomaly in the anatomy of your elbow. If you have this condition, you may experience severe pain and numbness in the elbow, as well as tingling or weakness in your ring and pinky fingers. It may become difficult to close your hand.

The first line of treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome is to avoid the action that is causing the pain. Using pain relief medications and wearing a splint at night may help as well.

When self-treatment does not help, cubital tunnel syndrome surgery may be recommended. The goal is to relieve the pressure by releasing and moving the ulnar nerve to the front of the elbow or increasing the size of the cubital tunnel.

Tennis Elbow Surgery & Other Treatment Options

Known as tennis elbow, lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition involving the tendons that attach to the bone on the outside (lateral) part of the elbow. The tendon’s attachment to the bone degenerates, which places increased stress on the area.

People who repeatedly use their elbow and arm muscles may be susceptible to tennis elbow, such as painters, plumbers, and butchers.

Tennis elbow can usually be treated with rest, pain medication, Botox injections, or the use of a brace. Tennis elbow surgery may be recommended in more extreme cases.

Elbow Fracture Examination & Treatment

Elbow fractures may occur due to a fall or direct impact. Pain, swelling, bruising, and stiffness in and around the elbow suggest a possible fracture. A snap or pop at the time of injury may be felt or heard as well.

Types of elbow fractures include:

  • Olecranon fractures
  • Fractures of the distal humerus
  • Radial head and neck fractures of the elbow

Depending on the type of injury and its severity, treatment options for elbow fractures include splint immobilization, casting the elbow, physical therapy, surgery to realign the bone fragments, and external fixation to stabilize the fractures.

Olecranon Bursitis Surgery & Assessment

The olecranon is the pointy bone at the tip of the elbow. A small sac of fluid called a “bursa” covers the tip of this bone. Sometimes this area gets irritated and the body makes extra fluid inside the sac, causing a big “balloon” that looks like a golf ball to form at the tip of the elbow.

Causes of olecranon bursitis include hitting the elbow on an object, overuse of the elbow, systemic diseases, and medical procedures.

It’s usually not painful, but it sometimes becomes infected. Remedies include using a splint and compression to rest the bursa, using elbow pads, using antibiotics to clear the infection, having cortisone injections, or drawing fluid out of the bursa with a needle in a procedure known as aspiration.

Olecranon bursitis surgery may be required if other remedies are not successful.

Golfer’s Elbow Treatment

Golfer’s elbow causes and treatments are similar to that of tennis elbow, but there are some differences between the two conditions.

The primary difference is the source of the inflammation. With tennis elbow, the outside of the elbow and forearm areas are inflamed, but with golfer’s elbow, inflammation is on the inner side of the arm and elbow.

Likewise, tennis elbow stems from damage to an outside tendon, and golfer’s elbow is associated with damage to an inner tendon.

Golfer’s elbow is more formally called medial epicondylitis, and it is sometimes referred to as baseball elbow or suitcase elbow.

Conditions General

Dealing With Olecranon Bursitis

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You may have heard of a condition known as tennis elbow, but did you know that there is one called “students elbow”? (, 2015) Also known as olecranon bursitis, it is when the small sac of fluid, known as a bursa, that covers the elbow becomes irritated and fills with fluid.

The bursa over the elbow is in place to allow the skin to move easily over the joint. When in a healthy condition it is flat and unnoticeable, but when it fills with fluid it becomes extremely noticeable and can be uncomfortable. Interestingly enough, not all instances of olecranon bursitis cause pain or discomfort at all.

Why Did I Get This Condition?

What is the cause for this unusual swelling at the elbow? Generally, it is caused when the area is irritated. This can mean that a hard blow to the elbow occurred and the sac has filled with fluid due to that injury, but it gets the name “students elbow” because it also commonly occurs in those who lean heavily on their elbows for long periods of time – as in the way that many students put elbows on their desks while listening to teachers or studying.

Of course, students arent the only ones prone to leaning overly long and heavily on their elbows. Telephone operators, long distance drivers, exercise instructors and people in gyms, computer workers, and many people with “desk jobs” may find themselves putting their elbows on hard surfaces and applying too much weight or pressure.

Additional causes include certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, or conditions like gout. Medical treatments like dialysis have been known to trigger olecranon bursitis, and infection is also a common cause – such as a cut to the elbow. Finally, there are also idiopathic cases where no cause can be uncovered.

Generally, it is the swelling that allows someone to discover they have the condition, and though mild swelling may be present there are also many cases in which the swelling can reach the size of a small golf ball.

Treating Students Elbow

Diagnosing the condition is straightforward, though a thorough medical history is taken to be sure it is not related to one of the diseases that olecranon bursitis is commonly related to. Should disease be present, this first must be managed before treatment for the swelling is done.

Generally, the most common course of action is to refrain from any further leaning or pressure on the joint. In some cases a “resting splint” is used to prevent further irritation, and compression may also be used to help alleviate fluid accumulation.

Should the swelling be too substantial, a physician may decide to remove fluid through an aspiration technique. This is commonly an in-office procedure that is followed up by antibiotics to prevent or remedy an infection. Should the condition prove difficult to manage or overcome, there are surgical and medical options such as cortisone injections and ongoing aspiration.

The key is to not ignore olecranon bursitis. It may seem like a harmless bit of swelling, but it should not be ignored. Your hand surgeon or specialist can help you deal with the condition and prevent it from becoming a problem.

Source Olecranon Bursitis (Students Elbow). 2015.

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Dr. Aroras office from my first call to schedule my appointment was friendly. Walking in the first day, I felt like I was in a nice atmosphere. Dr. Arora was EXCELLENT in taking great care of my hand injury. He was gentle and very understanding to the concerns I had about my hand. His expertise was admirable and I would recommend anyone with an injury to their hand to his office to be under his care. Because of him, I have healed faster than expected and will make an 100% recovery! Thank you Dr.

Jackie S.

I first thought I was going to have to have painful injections or surgery, but Dr. Arora suggested physical therapy may do the trick. I was doubtful, but I agreed to do it. Now, my pain is gone, and with the help of an ergonomic keyboard at work to keep my hands in the correct position, I am virtually pain free. The therapy strengthened my wrists and shoulders, and built more flexibility into my wrists.

Jerry T.

My experience with this doctor was positive from the outset. Dr. Arora was kind and spent a great deal of time with me. Staff was friendly. The office was nice and bright.

Ariel G.

Very friendly and helpful Great staff!!! Doctor Arora was very professional and did great work. I was very happy with everything!

L B.