- Take the Pain Quiz
- Surprising Reasons You're in Pain Slideshow
- Chronic Pain Slideshow
- Patient Comments: Elbow Pain - Describe Your Experience
- Patient Comments: Elbow Pain - Causes
- Patient Comments: Elbow Pain - Treatment
- Elbow pain facts
- How is the elbow designed, and what is its function?
- What injuries can cause elbow pain, and what are symptoms and signs of the causes of elbow pain?
- What are diseases and conditions that can cause elbow pain, and how are they treated?
- How is elbow pain diagnosed?
- What are treatments for elbow pain?
- What is the prognosis of elbow pain?
- Can elbow pain be prevented?
How is elbow pain diagnosed?
Elbow pain is most commonly diagnosed simply with a review of the history and physical examination. Most causes of elbow pain require no further testing. As described above, for some diseases, further testing can include X-ray examination, MRI scanning, arthrogram testing, and aspiration of fluid from the involved elbow area.
What are treatments for elbow pain?
The treatment for elbow pain depends on the precise cause of the pain. Treatments for simple inflammation can include immobilization, anti-inflammatory medications, and cold application. Treatments for fracture include casting and surgical repair. Treatments for infection include drainage and antibiotics.
What is the prognosis of elbow pain?
The outlook for elbow pain depends on the particular cause as described above.
Can elbow pain be prevented?
To the extent that injuries can be avoided, most causes of elbow pain can be prevented.
Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Klippel, J.H., et al. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. New York: Springer, 2008.
Koopman, William, et al., eds. Clinical Primer of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.
Ruddy, Shaun, et al., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 2000.