Supracondylar fracture

Elbow arthritis: What are the symptoms?

Fact Checked

Some individuals develop elbow arthritis especially those with advancing age. Even though there are various forms of arthritis, the most prevalent type that affects the elbow is osteoarthritis.

When it comes to osteoarthritis, it is described as a wear and tear condition. Due to the aging process and use, the cartilage in the joint eventually breaks down. Once this occurs, the bone rubs on bone which triggers various symptoms and even deformity in severe cases. In some cases, rheumatoid arthritis can also develop in the elbow. Both types of arthritis have symptoms that are similar and others that are distinct to each. Being familiar with the symptoms of arthritis can help determine the type of arthritis and the ideal treatment option.

Pain and diminished movement

When it comes to osteoarthritis, the rubbing of bone can lead to painful movement. At certain times, the pain can be piercing but can also feel like a dull ache. The pain can be worsened by certain movements and relieved by some.

The severity of the pain usually depends on the degree of damage sustained in the joint. The loss of range of motion in the joint is a usual indicator of elbow osteoarthritis.

Grating or locking sensations

Elbow arthritis
In the late phases of elbow arthritis, the joint can become swollen or inflamed.

There is also the perceivable grating sound or sensation. Take note that the grating is the result of bone rubbing on bone where the cartilage has worn away. There is also a locking sensation in the elbow joint. This occurs due to the loosened pieces of bone or cartilage the lodges into the joint and limits the ability of the joint to move.

What are the advanced symptoms?

In the late phases of elbow arthritis, the joint can become swollen or inflamed. Remember that this swelling can add pressure on the neighboring nerves and result to tingling or numbness in the elbow joint, fingers or hands.

If there is substantial pressure on a nerve, the muscles in the hand can weaken as well. Instability of the joint can also develop in which the condition progresses to a point where it is no longer possible to straighten out or bend the elbow.

Indications of rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the elbow joint. The condition causes inflammation and pain as well as severe deformity of the joint. The affected joint also feels warm, reddened and tender.

When it comes to this type of arthritis, both elbows are affected by similar symptoms while osteoarthritis affects one elbow. In case the individual has rheumatoid arthritis, there are also other symptoms such as anemia, fatigue and other symptoms linked with an autoimmune condition. In addition, other joints in the body are also affected as well.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.