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Elbow stiffness often occurs after a fall or an injury to the elbow, and is sometimes due to osteoarthritis. Common causes of elbow pain include sporting injuries like sprains, tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, fluid building up over the elbow joint (bursitis) or trapped nerves. If you find it difficult to straighten your arm more than halfway or experience pain and discomfort when clenching your fist, your consultant may recommend surgery to release elbow stiffness.
Your consultant will examine your elbow for signs of swelling, and will have access to the latest imaging techniques such as a CT, X-ray or MRI scan to provide a swift and accurate diagnosis. In mild cases then they may recommend anti-inflammatory medication or a cortisone injection, along with physiotherapy or a supportive strap that will put pressure on the elbow tendons.
If the injury is more severe, you may require surgery. This could be either open surgery or an arthroscopic (keyhole) procedure to remove spurs on the ends of bones, extract any loose bodies within your elbow or treat other problems within the joint.
EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.
The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.