Outside elbow pain

Pain on the outside of the elbow or lateral side can be acute or chronic it can also be referred via the nervous system. The lateral collateral ligament is associated with pain at the lateral elbow and can either be from a direct blow or can be torn from a landing force. The soft tissue, tendons (tennis elbow), nerves (radial tunnel syndrome), bursa (bursitis) and bones (humerus and radius) can all cause outside pain to the elbow and the pain can be constant or intermittent.

Swelling from the synovium or across the joint can also cause lateral elbow pain. A fractured radius or hypomobile (stiff) radio-ulnar joint can also produce pain laterally. Injuries and conditions that cause 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.

  • Radial Tunnel Syndrome

    Radial Tunnel Syndrome

    Radial tunnel syndrome or radial nerve entrapment as it is sometimes called is when the radial nerve gets compressed or restricted in the tunnel it passes through. This elbow injury is more often caused by rotation of the wrist/lower arm rather than repetitive extension like tennis elbow, but the symptoms of both these injuries can be similar.

  • Radiohumeral Bursitis

    Radiohumeral bursitis can also give similar symptoms to tennis elbow. This is inflammation of a bursa or small sack of fluid which sits between the tendon and the bone to help lubricate it. This elbow injury can be caused by a direct impact to the joint or arm, with some common symptoms being elbow pain, swelling and restricted movement.

  • 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.