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Types of Elbow Injury

Elbow injuries in adults

Elbow injuries can be grouped into those occurring in medial, lateral, posterior or anterior areas.

Medial injuries

Medial injuries include medial epicondylitis, injury to the common flexors (myositis or acute rupture), compression of the hypertrophied pronator teres by the overlying fascia, chronic elongation and/or rupture
of the medial collateral ligament with or without spur formation, and development of traction osteophytes medially. Ulnar nerve problems are also frequent.

Lateral injuries

Lateral epicondylitis is very common. As this area is subjected to compression rather than traction, other soft tissue injuries are less common. Osteochondritis dissecans can occur, resulting in loose bodies and posttraumatic arthritis.

Posterior injuries

Loose bodies may again result from traction injuries, such as overpull of the triceps or compression of the tip of the olecranon in the olecranon fossa. Posterior elbow injuries occur with sudden extension and
hyperextension of the elbow, resulting in compression of the olecranon against the humerus. Older baseball pitchers may develop flexion deformities that limit full extension. In these cases, an injury thought to be due to compression of the olecranon into the olecranon fossa may actually be an avulsion injury.

Anterior injuries

The distal biceps tendon may tear.

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