Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Elbow Tenderness Overview

What is elbow tenderness?
A person with elbow tenderness has pain when pressure is applied to the skin over the elbow. Elbow tenderness is usually caused by infection, inflammation, or injury to the structures in the elbow. Causes of elbow tenderness include cellulitis, septic arthritis, tendinitis, arthritis, gout, and elbow injury.

What are the symptoms of elbow tenderness?
Symptoms that may occur with elbow tenderness include elbow pain, elbow swelling, elbow stiffness, and elbow redness.

How does the doctor treat elbow tenderness?
Treatment for elbow tenderness depends on underlying cause. Treatment for elbow tenderness may include rest, elevation, cold or warm compresses, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medication, and antibiotics. Additional treatment may also include a splint, a cast, a sling, or surgery.

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Elbow Tenderness References
  1. Doornberg JN, Ring D, Fabian LM, Malhotra L, Zurakowski D, Jupiter JB. Pain dominates measurements of elbow function and health status. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005 Aug;87(8):1725-31. [16085611]
  2. Lewis M, Hay EM, Paterson SM, Croft P. Local steroid injections for tennis elbow: does the pain get worse before it gets better?: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Clin J Pain. 2005 Jul-Aug;21(4):330-4. [15951651]
  3. Salyapongse A, Hatch JD. Advances in the management of medial elbow pain in baseball pitchers. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2003 Oct;2(5):276-80. [12959710]
  4. Wang AA, Whitaker E, Hutchinson DT, Coleman DA. Pain levels after injection of corticosteroid to hand and elbow. Am J Orthop. 2003 Aug;32(8):383-5. [12943338]
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