At Sierra Pacific Orthopedics, the region's most preferred orthopedic practice, our specialty-trained elbow doctors are recognized experts in assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients with elbow injuries and conditions.
An elbow specialist is a surgeon with specialized training who treats patients with a wide range of elbow conditions. People frequently experience pain due to a repetitive stress injury, such as cubital tunnel syndrome. This condition develops when a nerve on the back of the elbow becomes compressed. However, carpal tunnel syndrome—which mostly affects the wrists, fingers, and hands—can also cause pain in the elbow.
Elbow specialists often see athletes who develop repetitive stress injuries known as tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. Tennis elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis, is a condition where the forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse. Golfer's elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is another source of tendon pain.
Sometimes, a patient with elbow pain also has shoulder pain. If this happens, a doctor will also examine the shoulder and entire arm to better understand what needs to be treated. Like elbow treatments, a broad range of shoulder treatments are available, including nonoperative options and shoulder surgery, such as shoulder replacement, or shoulder arthroplasty, and rotator cuff repair surgery.
When Should I Seek Elbow Surgery or Other Care From a Specialist?
Pay attention to your symptoms so when you meet with a doctor or surgeon, you can provide him or her with detailed information to help determine what care you need, such as nonsurgical methods, elbow surgery, or even shoulder treatments. People with elbow pain often report symptoms such as:
- Forearm pain
- Joint pain when trying to straighten it
- Numbness in the elbow, wrist, hands, or fingers
- Pain specifically in the elbow joint
- Pain when grabbing an item
- Pain when rotating the hand or wrist
- Shoulder pain radiating up from the elbow
If any of these symptoms seem familiar, you may have one of the following elbow issues:
- Biceps tendonitis (inflammation or injury to the tendon)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Ligament damage
- Osteochondritis dissecans
- Pinched nerve
- Radial tunnel syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sports-related injury (golfer's elbow, tennis elbow)
- Stress fracture
- Ulnar collateral ligament damage
What to Expect With Our Elbow Specialists
After a thorough assessment, which may include electrodiagnostic medicine or on-site imaging (including X-ray, MRI, and bone density scans), our wrist doctors will work with you to determine a course of treatment. Our experts always consider nonsurgical treatment first, such as anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy with one of our certified physical therapists, and minimally invasive nonoperative options like in-office orthobiologics. Your doctor may also recommend adapting your daily activities to avoid further pain before suggesting surgery.
When elbow surgery is necessary, our elbow surgeons utilize the state-of-the-art Summit Surgical facility and employ advanced techniques and procedures, such as elbow arthroscopy and other minimally invasive surgeries. Additionally, as part of our Elbow Center, our elbow experts work together to offer you comprehensive care and the latest treatments to help you restore your function.
The Strength of Experience at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics
At Sierra Pacific Orthopedics, we are dedicated to providing all of our orthopedic doctors, including our fellowship-trained and board-certified elbow providers, with every tool and resource they may need. This includes state-of-the-art technology, a dedicated staff, and the strength that comes from working side-by-side with a team of orthopedic surgeons and medical experts.
Our specialty-trained elbow surgeons, Dr. Toby Johnson, Dr. Erika Kuehn, Dr. Julia Lee, Dr. Alexander Majors, Dr. Cary Tanner, and Dr. Steven Thaxter, are medical specialists whose practices focus on patients with orthopedic issues, including the elbow and upper extremity. They are trained in the anatomy and function of the elbow to offer the expertise you need, from mending elbow fractures to performing arthroscopic surgery, so you can get back to doing what you love.
If you also have concerns related to your shoulder, we can schedule an appointment with a shoulder specialist for you as well.
If you have an elbow injury or issue that is concerning you, contact us today at (559) 256-5200 or schedule an appointment online to receive the specialized elbow care you deserve.
ORTHOPEDIC URGENT CARE & ORTHOPEDIC TELEMEDICINEx