Osteoarthritis of the elbow joint

Shantanu Shahane

in Oxford Textbook of Trauma and Orthopaedics

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199550647
Published online April 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199608249 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Osteoarthritis of the elbow joint

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  • Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Rheumatology


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Symptomatic, primary osteoarthritis of the elbow usually occurs in young men involved in heavy manual labour.

Common causes of secondary osteoarthritis of the elbow are trauma, infection, bleeding disorders and neuropathic conditions.

Clinically, the commonest presenting symptom is loss of motion. Patients can also complain of pain, locking and ulnar nerve symptoms.

Plain X-rays are usually sufficient for diagnosis. They show reduction in joint space and osteophytes at the tip of olecranon and coronoid processes. Loose bodies are also frequently seen.

Symptoms in early stages of arthritis are controlled by nonoperative means. Steroids are rarely used in clinical practice.

In advanced cases, numerous operative treatments including arthroscopic and open procedures are available.

Total Elbow replacement (TER) for primary degenerative arthritis of the elbow is only to be considered as the last option and when stringent pre and post-operative requirements are followed.

Chapter.  3447 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery ; Rheumatology

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