Elbow instability is characterized by looseness in the joint that may cause sliding, popping, catching, or locking sensations. Usually, the condition develops after the ulnar or lateral collateral ligament is damaged. This type of injury can result from repetitive stress, such as repeatedly pitching a baseball, or trauma, such as an elbow dislocation sustained in a fall onto an outstretched hand. An elbow dislocation occurs when the upper arm bone (humerus) is partially or completely forced out of the depressions where it normally sits in the forearm bones (ulna and radius).
Non-Surgical Treatments for Elbow Instability
In mild to moderate cases, an elbow dislocation can usually be treated non-surgically with a closed reduction, which involves manually moving the humerus back into place. Once the physician confirms that the bones are properly positioned, elbow instability treatment typically begins conservatively. Some options include:
- Lifestyle modifications to alter or avoid activities that cause or worsen discomfort
- Pain-relieving medications and other pain management strategies
- Bracing to stabilize the elbow in place
- Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that surround and support the elbow joint
Talk With One of the Best Surgeons in Pittsburgh
Christopher C. Schmidt, M.D., is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who performs elbow surgery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Recognized as an expert among experts, Dr. Schmidt regularly receives complex case referrals from his peers; in fact, he is one of the most well-known and respected elbow surgeons in the United States.
If you would like to discuss your elbow instability symptoms with Dr. Schmidt, call (877) 471-0935 to schedule an appointment at one of his three office locations in the Pittsburgh, PA, area.
Your Premiere Choice for Shoulder & Elbow Surgery