Overuse & Chronic Elbow Injuries

Overuse injuries are those that occur due to microtrauma over time. This typically occurs in those who perform repetitive activities without adequate time to rest and recover.


Symptoms of over use injuries include pain during or immediately after activities. Occastionally people may feel numbness and tingling of the elbow, forearm, or hand.

Evaluation & Treatment

Initial evaluation includes a medical history, physical examination, and x-rays to rule out associated conditions. Specialized elbow and shoulder examination maneuvers are done to further distinguish areas of pain. In some cases an MRI may be ordered to evaluate for ligament, tendon, cartilage damage, or stress fracture.

Typical treatment is aimed at reducing the stress of the overused body part. A short period of rest, activity modification, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and evaluation of technique are indicated. If symptoms do not improve despite the above treatment, surgical treatment is recommended depending on the condition. This may be done arthroscopically or through small incision as an outpatient. Typical recover occurs over 6 to 9 weeks.