Stiff Elbow Treatments Anchorage AK

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William M Dotson, DDS
(907) 563-2828
3401 Denali St Ste 203
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Robert Justin Hall, MD
(907) 562-2277
4100 Lake Otis Pkwy Ste 208
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ia Coll Of Med, Iowa City Ia 52242
Graduation Year: 1990

Data Provided By:
David A McGuire
(907) 562-4142
4100 Lake Otis Parkway
Anchorage, AK
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
George Donald Rhyneer, MD
(907) 563-3145
3260 Providence Dr Ste 200
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Wa Sch Of Med, Seattle Wa 98195
Graduation Year: 1993

Data Provided By:
Ronald Irvin Glaeser, DDS
(907) 563-3015
3708 Rhone Cir
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Leslie P Dean
(907) 563-3145
3260 Providence Dr
Anchorage, AK
Specialty
Hand Surgery

Data Provided By:
John Thomas Duddy, MD
(907) 278-8141
2741 Debarr Rd Ste C305
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Oh State Univ Coll Of Med, Columbus Oh 43210
Graduation Year: 1993

Data Provided By:
William Andrew Paton, MD
(907) 729-1615
4315 Diplomacy Dr
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Case Western Reserve Univ Sch Of Med, Cleveland Oh 44106
Graduation Year: 1969

Data Provided By:
Peter Cornwell Schaab, MD
(907) 272-0095
1200 Airport Heights Dr Ste 320
Anchorage, AK
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Nm Sch Of Med, Albuquerque Nm 87131
Graduation Year: 1982

Data Provided By:
Robert Edward Gieringer
(907) 563-3232
2751 Debarr Rd
Anchorage, AK
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
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Treatment Options for Stiff Elbow

When someone develops a stiff elbow that's stiff enough to interfere with range-of-motion and functioning, treatment is usually needed. Some people may not bother seeing a doctor because elbows often don't have to have full range of motion to be used effectively. Most activities require the elbow to bend between 30 degrees and 130 degrees - neither full bend or full extension usually. However, depending on the activities you do, you may need the full extension or flexion (bending).

The elbow has three distinct sections called the single synovial capsule, the ulnotrochlear joint, and the proximal radioulnar joint. These are what allow the elbow to make the movements it can.

When an elbow is stiff, it could be caused by any one of a number of reasons that are intrinsic or extrinsic (from inside or outside forces). Extrinsic factors can include contractures (tightening of the tissues that normally allow your to open and close your elbow angle, by issues with the bones, such as bones not healing after a fracture, (nonunion), or even the skin that can scar badly after a burn, for example, causing the elbow to contract. Intrinsic causes include illnesses like arthritis or something internal that changes the structure of the joint.

A stiff elbow isn't necessarily painful, but if there is pain, when it occurs is an important clue to determining why it's stiff. For example, if the pain is only present when the elbow is actually bending, this may tell the doctor that the problem is an intrinsic one. The doctor will need to know information such as the patient's general health, if there was any trauma at all, even the slightest one can be significant if the patient has an illness such as diabetes.

X-rays will help see if there is any damage to the joint and stress x-rays may help the doctor see if the elbow is stable and a CT scan (computed tomography imaging) may also be helpful. Occasionally, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging scan) will be done to check for soft tissue damage that can't be seen on an x-ray. Another issue doctors must check in to is infection. This is a possibility of the elbow is quite painful, even at rest.

Treatment of a stiff elbow depends on what the cause is. If a patient has osteoarthritis of the elbow, the so-called wear-and-tear arthritis, the doctor knows that the joint is still intact and can work with that. On the other hand, if the cause is due to pieces of bone breaking off and lodging in the joint, surgery will be needed to remove those pieces. Surgery may also be needed to release contractures or to remove tissue that may be pressing on the ulnar nerve, the nerve that passes down through the elbow.

If it's decided that a nonsurgical approach will be taken, one study, done by Doornberg and colleagues, found that progressive splinting of the elbow helped increase the elbow's ability to bend, but the trick seemed to be that the splinting had to be done as soon as possible after the splin...

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