Bone spurs or osteophytes represent unusual bone growth that can disrupt with normal joint function. The chronic inflammation linked with elbow arthritis, tendinitis or bursitis most often causes the development of elbow bone spurs.
The typical symptoms of elbow bone spurs include joint stiffness, pain, hard lump close the joint, difficulty in straightening the elbow, numbness or tingling in the fourth and fifth fingers and a weak grip. The treatment for elbow bone spurs can range from over-the-counter pain medications and surgery.
Application of ice
Cases that involve acute flare-ups linked with an elbow bone spur might respond to the application of an ice pack over the affected area. Make sure that the ice is wrapped in a clean towel or cloth before applied over the affected area. It is important to note that the ice helps minimize the swelling as well as reducing friction against the bone spur. Nevertheless, ice does not help relieve chronic pain linked with an elbow bone spur though.
Bursitis and tendinitis of the elbow can cause swelling in these tissues. Take note that the swelling can lead to friction in between the tissues and elbow bone spurs, thus triggering pain. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin can help minimize the inflammation and swelling in the tendons or bursa. Once the swelling subsides, it reduces the rubbing action against the bone spur, providing pain relief.
In some individuals with elbow bone spurs due to arthritis, prescription anti-inflammatory drugs or injections of an anti-inflammatory steroid into the joint can help minimize the swelling, inflammation and pain. A doctor should be consulted so that the suitable pain relief measure can be recommended.
The doctor might recommend arthroscopic surgery for the elbow bone spurs that cause constant pain or loss of joint function. During this procedure, the surgeon creates several small-sized incisions around the elbow joint. A small fiber optic instrument called an arthroscope allows the surgeon to see the joint.
Using the arthroscope, the surgeon can remove the bone spurs and other tissue debris that might cause the pain and disrupting with the joint mobility. Remember that arthroscopic surgery of the elbow is beneficial for individuals who suffer from sore elbow bone spurs due to osteoarthritis.
The bone spurs mainly contributes to joint deformities that occur along with osteoarthritis. Once the cartilage in the joint wears out, the bones close the joint overgrows and form large-sized spurs, resulting to the deformity of the joint and limiting the mobility of the individual.
Among individuals with severe elbow arthritis and joint deformity, replacement of the elbow joint can provide the ideal pain relief and restoration of joint function. Remember that many individuals with severe cases eventually resort to replacement of the affected joint.