Near Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, Dr. Michael Bercik is a renowned orthopedic elbow specialist. With a deep commitment to patient well-being, Dr. Bercik has dedicated years to helping individuals regain mobility and lead pain-free lives. As part of his continuous commitment to offer valuable insights and support, he provides this resource to help you grasp elbow problems, their symptoms, and the diagnostic process.

Recognizing the Signs of Elbow Problems

Elbow Specialist Wyomissing, PAElbow problems can manifest in various ways, and the symptoms you experience may depend on the specific issue you’re facing. Here are some common signs that should prompt you to seek medical attention:

  • Pain: Elbow pain can range from a dull ache to sharp, intense pain. The location of the pain may vary, with some conditions causing pain on the inner side of the elbow (medial pain) and others on the outer side (lateral pain).
  • Swelling: Swelling around the elbow joint may indicate inflammation or an injury. It can make your elbow appear puffy and feel tender to the touch.
  • Stiffness: Difficulty in straightening or bending your elbow can indicate an underlying issue. Stiffness may be particularly noticeable in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
  • Weakness: Weakness in the affected arm is a common symptom, making it challenging to perform everyday tasks. This weakness may be due to pain, muscle atrophy, or nerve involvement.
  • Numbness and Tingling: These sensations, often radiating down the arm or into the fingers, can indicate nerve compression or irritation in the elbow.
  • Instability: A feeling of the elbow “giving way” or being unstable may be a sign of ligament or tendon damage. This can be particularly concerning if it affects your ability to grip objects or perform physical activities.
  • Popping or Clicking: Unusual sounds coming from the elbow joint, such as popping or clicking, could indicate joint issues or loose bodies within the joint.
  • Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty fully extending or flexing the elbow can indicate various conditions, including arthritis or joint problems.

How Are Elbow Injuries Diagnosed?

When you experience symptoms suggesting an elbow problem, seeking a professional diagnosis is essential for proper treatment. Here’s an overview of the diagnostic process:

  • Initial assessment: Comprehensive medical history will be gathered along with a physical examination of your elbow to assess range of motion, strength, and tenderness and to identify any signs of instability or joint swelling.
  • Imaging Studies: In many cases, imaging studies visualize the elbow joint. X-rays are commonly employed to assess bone structure, fractures, or signs of arthritis. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) may be ordered to get a more detailed view of soft tissues
  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound is a valuable tool for examining soft tissues like tendons and ligaments. It can help in diagnosing conditions like tendinitis or tears.
  • Nerve Conduction Studies: If you’re experiencing numbness or tingling, nerve conduction studies may be used to evaluate the function of the nerves in your arm.
  • Laboratory Tests: Sometimes, blood tests may be ordered to rule out conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or infections that can affect the joints.

The diagnostic process may vary depending on the specific symptoms and suspected condition. Dr. Bercik will tailor the evaluation to your unique situation to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Are You Suffering from Elbow Pain?

Recognizing the signs of elbow problems and undergoing a thorough diagnostic process is vital for identifying the underlying issues and getting the proper treatment. If you’re experiencing persistent symptoms in your elbow, don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare professional like Dr. Bercik, serving residents of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, to address the problem and prevent it from worsening. Early intervention and proper care can often lead to successful outcomes and a return to pain-free, functional use of your elbow. If you are experiencing elbow pain, do not hesitate to request an appointment online or call 717.560.4200.