Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Bruised Elbow Anatomy

To better understand an elbow contusion, it helps to understand the anatomy of the elbow joint.

The elbow consists of three bones:

  • Humerus:
    • The large, long bone in the upper arm
    • The two prominent areas of the humerus on the inside and outside of the elbow are referred to as the epicondyles.
    • The muscles that raise the wrist and hand attach to the lateral epicondyle.
    • Muscles that flex the wrist attach to the medial epicondyle.
  • Radius:
    • One of the long bones in the forearm
  • Ulna:
    • One of the long bones in the forearm

These three bones are bonded together by strong bands, called ligaments. The ligaments, muscles and tendons keep the bones of the elbow together during movement.

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Bruised Elbow References
  1. Beiner JM, Jokl P. Muscle contusion injuries: current treatment options. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2001 Jul-Aug;9(4):227-37. [11476532]
  2. Berg E. Deep muscle contusion complicated by myositis ossificans (a.k.a. heterotopic bone). Orthop Nurs. 2000 Nov-Dec;19(6):66-7. [11899311]
  3. Centeno CJ, Freeman M, Elkins WL. A review of the literature refuting the concept of minor impact soft tissue injury. Pain Res Manag. 2005 Summer;10(2):71-4. [15915248]
  4. Guzman J, Yassi A, Cooper JE, Khokhar J. Return to work after occupational injury. Family physicians' perspectives on soft-tissue injuries. Can Fam Physician. 2002 Dec;48:1912-9. [12520791]
  5. Tull F, Borrelli J Jr. Soft-tissue injury associated with closed fractures: evaluation and management. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2003 Nov-Dec;11(6):431-8. [14686828]
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