What Causes Elbow Pain?

What causes elbow pain? It’s a common question, and one that I field on a daily basis in the San Diego Orthopedic Surgery Center.

Questions such as these rarely have simple answers; the elbow is a complex joint with plenty of moving parts. Any issue of injury or inflammation within the joint can lead to pain – and, occasionally create a cascade of further injuries as the elbow’s natural motion becomes impaired.

Elbow pain requires a careful and considered differential diagnosis. This page offers a snapshot of what orthopedists such as myself tend to consider when confronted with a new case, including how to determine if it’s tennis elbow or something else:

Radial Tunnel Syndrome causes pain that is very similar to the symptoms of tennis elbow (Figure 2). The pain is usually distal to the lateral epicondyle and radiates down the forearm. If the symptoms of tennis elbow are not going away with treatment, rule out the possibility of radial tunnel.

Check out the full page, which comes stocked with useful images to help you diagram what’s happening in your elbow And when you’re ready to see an expert, contact the elbow pain doctor here.

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