Stiff Elbow Treatments South Portland ME

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John Tighe Chance, MD
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall St
Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics, Hand Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Columbia Univ Coll Of Physicians And Surgeons, New York Ny 10032
Graduation Year: 1985
Hospital
Hospital: Maine Med Ctr, Portland, Me
Group Practice: Hand Center

Data Provided By:
Vincent N Oliviero, MD
(207) 774-2195
1601 Congress St
Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Georgetown Univ Sch Of Med, Washington Dc 20007
Graduation Year: 1967

Data Provided By:
Craig Ridges Barrow, MD
254 Western Ave
South Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Loma Linda Univ Sch Of Med, Loma Linda Ca 92350
Graduation Year: 1997

Data Provided By:
Dirk G Asherman
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall St
Portland, ME
Specialty
Foot & Ankle Surgery

Data Provided By:
Nathan K Endres
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall St
Portland, ME
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
George M Babikian
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall St
Portland, ME
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
Sacha D Matthews
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall St
Portland, ME
Specialty
Hand Surgery

Data Provided By:
Dr.Dirk Asherman
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall Street
Portland, ME
Gender
M
Education
Medical School: Tufts Univ Sch Of Med
Year of Graduation: 1994
Speciality
Orthopedic Surgeon
General Information
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
5.0, out of 5 based on 2, reviews.

Data Provided By:
Raymond R White, MD
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall St
Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Il Coll Of Med, Chicago Il 60680
Graduation Year: 1977
Hospital
Hospital: Mercy Hospital, Portland, Me; Maine Med Ctr, Portland, Me
Group Practice: Orthopedic Associates

Data Provided By:
Thomas Francis Murray Jr, MD
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall St
Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ct Sch Of Med, Farmington Ct 06032
Graduation Year: 1992

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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