Acute elbow pain

Acute elbow pain is pain in the elbow which comes on suddenly. The athlete is likely to know the exact point in time when the injury occurred. Chronic or long term elbow injuries can be classed as acute if they flare up or are acutely painful such as an acute episode of golfers elbow. Acute elbow pain can be due to an olecranon bursitis where there is inflammation or a fracture of either the radius or ulnar.

Soft tissue injuries to the muscles or acute tendonpathies can also cause sudden elbow pain. Injuries with this symptom are listed below:
  • Tennis Elbow

    Tennis Elbow

    Tennis Elbow is a general term used to describe outer elbow pain. The most common causes are inflammation or degeneration of the tendon of the wrist extensor muscles as they insert into the elbow. This can occur from sports, like tennis, and other activities that put stress on the elbow muscles. It is also known as lateral epicondylitis or extensor tendinopathy.

  • Ulna Nerve Contusion

    Ulna Nerve Contusion

    The ulnar nerve runs down the inside of the elbow. If you knock the inside of the elbow, you can hit the ulnar nerve (or funny bone) which causes a numbness or tingling down the forearm into the fourth and fifth fingers. When this nerve becomes trapped or damaged through repetitive strain or a direct impact, it creates this sensation and can cause elbow pain.

  • Elbow Bursitis - Students Elbow

    Elbow Bursitis

    Elbow bursitis also known as Students elbow or Olecranon bursitis is the inflammation and swelling of the bursa which protects the end of the ulna bone at the back of the elbow. Repeatedly leaning on elbows (like many students do) can cause pain as the bursa can become inflamed. This elbow injury could also be caused by a direct impact. Read more on the symptoms, causes and treatements for this injury.

  • Olecranon Fracture

    Olecranon Fracture

    The olecranon process the large bony prominence at the back of the elbow on the ulna forearm bone. It is usually fractured from a direct impact or fall onto a bent elbow. Intense elbow pain, swelling and tenderness at the back of the elbow are common symptoms of this injury. Read more on the treatment of Olecranon fracture.

  • Broken Elbow

    Broken Elbow

    An elbow fracture is a break in one of the bones which form the elbow joint. There are three bones which could be broken: the Humerus (upper arm bone), Ulna and Radius (two forearm bones). This elbow injury can be caused by a fall or a hard impact, and especially because there can be further potential complications, medical assistance should be sought immediately.

  • Dislocated Elbow

    Dislocated Elbow

    Elbow dislocations are the second most common dislocations in adults, behind the shoulder. The elbow is a very stable joint and so it requires a lot of force to dislocate it. Severe pain and obvious deformity are the common symptoms for this elbow injury, which is normally caused by a fall or direct impact. Read an explanation of elbow dislocations, treatments and how to rehabilitate after the injury.

  • Medial Elbow Ligament Sprain

    Medial Elbow Ligament Sprain

    The medial collateral (MCL) ligament of the elbow is situated on the inner elbow and helps to provide stability to the joint. Damage to this ligament can occur from an impact injury or from repetitive oversuse, for example throwing with poor technique. Symptoms can include inside elbow pain and tenderness, read below for more information on the symptoms, causes and treatments.

  • Elbow Avulsion Fracture

    Avulsion fracture of the medial epicondyle is when the tendon comes away from the bone and can take part of the bone with it. This elbow injury is more common in children with symptoms similar to a sprain. These can include elbow pain, swelling and reduced ability to move the arm. Read more on avulsion fractures, their symptoms and how to treat them.

  • Biceps Tendon Strain

    Biceps tendon strain at its insertion on the inside or front of the elbow is rare but has been known in weightlifting and other strength type sports and activities. A tear of the tendon may follow a period of biceps tendinitis that is not treated and managed correctly.

  • Elbow Hyperextension

    Elbow Hyperextension

    An elbow hyperextension injury occurs when the elbow is bent back the wrong way. This over-straightening causes damage to the ligaments and structures of the elbow. Like several elbow injuries, this often occurs in contact sports like rugby, and causes instant pain. Ice, compression and taping are some of the ways this injury can be treated.

  • Lateral Elbow Pain

    The most common term for pain on the outside of the elbow is Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis). However, there are a number of other causes of lateral elbow pain which should be considered as well as acute elbow injuries such as ligament sprains and fractures. Other potential causes of pain on the outside of the elbow include referred pain, radial tunnel syndrome, synovitis, bursitis and osteochondritis dissecans.

  • Medial Elbow Pain

    A medial elbow is a pain on the inside of the elbow. It usually comes on gradually through overuse but can also be an acute injury, especially when throwing. Golfer's elbow or throwers elbow is probably the most common name given to pain on the inside of the elbow and refers to inflammation or degeneration of the flexor tendon. Other causes include sprains (ligament tears), nerve compression, avulsion fractures apophysitis and pain referred from the upper back or shoulder.