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Elbow pain-quick revision card

Elbow is a complex ,condyloid hinge joint pain can arise from structures as tendons , bursae , bones or nerves has 3 joints ulnohumeral , radiocarpal , proximal radio-ulnar flexion / extension happens at humeroulnar & humeroradial jts and pronation / supination at upper radioulnar joint in close association with lower RU jt prone to injuries particularly with repetitive motion


SOCRATES Mechanism of injury ( if h/o trauma ) Numbness ? Tingling ? Stiffness Previous problems Occupation / recreational activities Functional impairment Red / Hot / Swollen jt ? septic arthritis Dislocation / Fracture Tender swollen joint Fractures Rapidly increasing mass ? Tumours Night pain Past h.o cancer Constitutional features / High inflammatory markers Distal biceps tendon rupture – refer urgently


Medial Golfer’s elbow ( medial epicondylitis ) Ulnar nerve disorders Cervical radiculopathy Ulnohumeral joint disease as arthritis Medial collateral ligament injury Valgus extension overload syndrome


Lateral – Tennis elbow ( lateral epicondylitis ) Radial tunnel syndrome Panner’s disease Radiohumeral joint disease Lateral collateral ligament injury Lateral synovial plica


Posterior Olecranon bursitis Olecranon stress fractures Osteoarthritis Triceps rupture Triceps tendinopathy Valgus extension overload syndrome Posterior impingement


Anterior- Anterior capsule strain Distal biceps rupture Pronator syndrome Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis


  1. Javed, Mustafa et al. “Elbow pain: a guide to assessment and management in primary care.” The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners vol. 65,640 (2015): 610-2. doi:10.3399/bjgp15X687625
  2. An anatomical approach to diagnosis of elbow pain PowerPoint Presentation (
  3. MSK Services Pathway – elbow pathology msk_elbow-pathway-2019.pdf (
  4. Kane SF, Lynch JH, Taylor JC. Evaluation of elbow pain in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2014 Apr 15;89(8):649-57. PMID: 24784124.




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