Elbow Symptoms

The elbow is a complex joint made up of three articulations namely the radiocapitellar joint, the ulnohumeral joint and the proximal radioulnar joint. Elbow symptoms include:-

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Instability
  • Mechanical symptoms

Pain

Pain in the elbow can arise from a number of conditions including arthritis or cartilage damage within the joint and from the surrounding muscles and tendons (biciptal tendonitis, 'tennis elbow', 'golfers elbow'). The site and nature of the pain are important indicators of what the potential cause might be.

Stiffness

Many conditions affecting the elbow joint cause at least some degree of stiffness and restricted movement.

Instability

The very nature of the elbow joint is that it is relatively stable. Unlike in the shoulder joint instability without significant trauma is uncommon.

Mechanical

Painless clicking in a joint is a common phenomenon and is usually of little or no relevance. However, when a joint clicks and the clicking is painful, then this is more significant as it implies that there may be something catching within the joint, such as a loose piece of cartilage or bone fragment. Painful clicking in a joint is usually requires further investigation and may require surgical treatment. 

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