Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Painful Elbow Anatomy

To better understand elbow pain, 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: Dec 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Painful Elbow 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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