Over the years, wear and tear on the body’s joints and factors like reduced bone density and muscle mass can render seniors more susceptible to elbow injuries. These injuries can be debilitating, affecting one’s daily activities, independence, and overall quality of life. Understanding the common elbow injuries in seniors and the approaches to diagnosis and treatment is crucial.

Elbow Specialist Campbelltown, PANear Campbelltown, Pennsylvania, orthopedic elbow specialist Dr. Michael Bercik has received extensive prestigious mentorship worldwide, equipping him with a comprehensive skill set, including advanced techniques for managing acute fractures and addressing post-traumatic complications like nonunions, malunions, infections, and arthritis. This experience has also armed him with the necessary skills to treat various elbow issues in seniors, ensuring the highest quality of care.

Common Elbow Injuries in Seniors

  • Fractures: Elbow fractures in seniors often result from falls. The bones can become more brittle with age, making them more prone to breakage. Fractures require careful evaluation to determine the extent of the injury and the most appropriate treatment.
  • Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow: Often affect seniors due to repetitive arm movements. The tendons in the elbow become inflamed, leading to pain and limited mobility.
  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition that can affect the elbow in seniors. Over time, the cartilage that cushions the joint wears away, resulting in pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.
  • Bursitis: Seniors may develop elbow bursitis, an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac near the elbow joint. It can cause swelling, tenderness, and discomfort.

Diagnosis of Elbow Injuries

Proper diagnosis is the first step toward effective treatment. When a senior presents with elbow pain or limited mobility, Dr. Bercik conducts a thorough evaluation, including:

  • Medical History: Gathering information about the senior’s symptoms, medical history, and any recent injuries or activities that might have contributed to the condition.
  • Physical Examination: The elbow is carefully assessed, checking for tenderness, swelling, range of motion, and stability.
  • Imaging Studies: X-rays, MRI, or CT scans may be ordered to visualize the internal structures of the elbow, helping to identify fractures, cartilage damage, or other abnormalities.
  • Blood Tests: In some cases, blood tests may be conducted to rule out conditions like rheumatoid arthritis that can affect the joints.

Common Treatments for Elbow Injuries in Seniors

Treatment plans for elbow injuries in seniors are tailored to the specific condition and the individual’s overall health. Here are a few approaches:

  • Conservative Measures: For less severe injuries, conservative treatments such as rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications can be effective in managing pain and promoting healing.
  • Casting or Splinting: Immobilization may be necessary for fractures or other injuries. Casting or splinting can provide stability and support during the healing process.
  • Corticosteroid Injections: In cases of inflammation, corticosteroid injections can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
  • Surgery: In more severe cases, surgery may be required. Dr. Bercik is skilled in various surgical techniques, ranging from joint debridement to joint replacement, to address complex elbow injuries in seniors.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is often an integral part of rehabilitation. It focuses on regaining strength, flexibility, and function in the affected elbow.

Are you suffering from an elbow injury or condition?

Elbow injuries in seniors can be physically and emotionally challenging. With the expertise of an elbow specialist like Dr. Bercik and a tailored approach to diagnosis and treatment, seniors can often regain their functionality and enjoy a better quality of life. To schedule an appointment, please complete a request form online or call 717.560.4200.