The elbow joint has a wide range of motion. Because of this flexibility, it is also unstable and vulnerable to damage that happens on impact or develops over time, from fractures and dislocations to conditions like elbow arthritis.
Our elbow specialists at Alabama Orthopedic Specialists, Dr. Steven Barrington, Dr. Charles Hartzog, Dr. D. D. Thornbury, Dr. Hussein Turki, and Dr. G. Dexter Walcott, offer the unique expertise you need to heal from any elbow injury or condition.
What Is an Elbow Specialist?
Elbow doctors are orthopedic surgeons who can diagnose elbow pain, then recommend nonsurgical treatment options, ranging from physical therapy to steroid injections, or surgery.
When an elbow doctor sees a patient, they begin with a physical examination and ask the patient questions. If your doctor suspects a fracture, they may order an X-ray or other imaging test to better assess the damage.
If surgery is the best solution, an orthopedic surgeon with specialty training in the elbow can perform the operation. Elbow surgeons can perform a number of procedures, including ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, tennis elbow surgery, and golfer’s elbow surgery. Some surgeries can be performed using minimally invasive elbow arthroscopy, such as arthroscopic debridement.
If you have elbow pain, review this checklist for common symptoms of arthritis, elbow bursitis, tennis elbow, and other injuries. If you are experiencing any of them, seek out a specialty-trained surgeon who specializes in elbow problems.
- Difficultly pinching or grasping
- Pain or numbness radiating between the elbow and wrist
- Pain when rotating the elbow joint
- Pain when straightening the elbow joint
- Sensations radiating up to the shoulder
- Soreness on the outside of the elbow
- Swelling in the shoulder
Common Elbow Conditions
When you see an orthopedic specialist for your elbow pain or limitation, your surgeon may diagnose you with one of the following elbow conditions:
- Collateral ligament damage
- Compressed nerve
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis)
- Osteochondritis dissecans
- Sports-related fracture or injury
- Tendonitis (tendinitis)
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
Repetitive stress injuries are common and seen in people who use their elbow often on the job, as well as in athletes. Common elbow injuries include golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow. Both conditions affect the tendons surrounding the joint: with golfer’s elbow, tendons on the inside are affected, while with tennis elbow, the tendons on the outside are damaged. It's good to recognize that sometimes other parts of the arm, like the shoulder, biceps, or wrist, can be affected.
Other wear-and-tear or overuse injuries include cubital tunnel syndrome and ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tears. When the cubital tunnel structure surrounding the ulnar nerve—located on the back of the elbow—becomes compressed, it causes numbness, tingling, and pain. UCL tears occur when the ligaments on the inside of the elbow joint are repetitively stressed over time, which is common for throwing athletes. Our elbow specialists can offer precise diagnoses for these conditions as well as nonsurgical treatment options and advanced care, such as cubital tunnel release surgery, UCL reconstruction, and minimally invasive arthroscopic elbow surgery.
Specialized. In Your Elbow Care.
All of our fellowship-trained orthopedic doctors at Alabama Orthopedic Specialists strive for excellence in patient-centered care. As part of this dedication, our elbow specialists are highly experienced in successfully treating patients who are experiencing debilitating elbow pain. They have obtained years of specialized medical training, followed by decades of combined clinical experience treating patients just like you.
Our team of highly skilled elbow surgeons includes fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven Barrington and Dr. D. D. Thornbury, fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeons Dr. Charles Hartzog and Dr. G. Dexter Walcott, and fellowship-trained hand and upper extremity specialist Dr. Hussein Turki. Together, they treat patients with nonoperative treatment options as well as a range of surgeries.