Hand & Elbow Surgery

Elbow Arthritis


There are two types of arthritis affecting the elbow joint. Rheumatoid arthritis of the elbow is a disease that affects the linings of the joint, causing swelling and narrowing of the joint space.  This arthritis slowly damages the bones and soft tissues of the joint. Osteoarthritis of the elbow joint causes breakdown of the cartilage on the ends of the bones of the joint that help them move smoothly. This breakdown of cartilage causes bones to start rubbing together during movement.


Symptoms of elbow arthritis include pain, swelling, joint instability, restricted range-of-motion, locking, and stiffness.


Treatments attempted first include activity restrictions, pain management, and physical therapy. If those treatments fail to relieve elbow pain, surgery may be considered.