The elbow is a complex joint formed by the articulation of three bones – the humerus, radius, and ulna. The elbow joint helps in bending or straightening of the arm to 180 degrees and lifting or moving objects.
The bones of the elbow are supported by:
- Ligaments and tendons
- Blood vessels
Bones and Joints of the Elbow
The elbow joint is formed at the junction of three bones:
- The humerus (upper arm bone) forms the upper portion of the joint. The lower end of the humerus divides into two bony protrusions known as the medial and lateral epicondyles, which can be felt on either side of the elbow joint.
- The ulna is the larger bone of the forearm located on the inner surface of the joint. It articulates with the humerus.
- The radius is the smaller bone of the forearm situated on the outer surface of the joint. The head of the radius is circular and hollow, which allows movement with the humerus. The articulation between the ulna and radius helps the forearm to rotate.
Tennis elbow is a common name for the elbow condition lateral epicondylitis. It is an overuse injury that causes inflammation and microtears of the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle.
When the elbow is bent, the ulnar nerve can stretch and catch on the bony bump. When the ulnar nerve is compressed or entrapped, the nerve can tear and become inflamed, leading to cubital tunnel syndrome.
Tennis elbow is a painful condition occurring from repeated muscle contractions at the forearm. The condition is more common in sports activities such as tennis, painting, hammering, typing, gardening and playing musical instruments.
Elbow arthroscopy, also referred to as keyhole or minimally invasive surgery, is a surgical procedure that is performed through tiny incisions to evaluate and treat several elbow conditions.
Distal biceps repair is a surgical procedure to restore the biceps tendon which has torn or ruptured at its attachment near the elbow.