Rheumatoid Arthritis in the elbow affects the synovial i.e. the joint lining the joints of the elbow. It causes the synovia to swell thus reduces the space at the joints making it to narrow thus regular movement of the hand. This may at times develop after an injury at the elbow or repetitive use of the joint. The soft tissues at the joints slowly wear out leading to slight pain on the outer side of the joint in its early stages. The pain however gets worse when you rotate or turn your forearm or when at rest. Other symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis in elbow include swelling of the joint with flamboyant like feeling when touched. Stiffness is also experienced whereby you are not able to straighten, bend flex the elbow. The elbow also may lock or catches thus experiencing difficulties in movement which is evidenced in Rheumatoid Arthritis developed after an injury at the elbow.
Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Elbow can be diagnosed by examination of the tenderness and swelling by the doctor. Identification of the positions that cause pain at the elbow area may also help in positively identifying the infection. Use of X-rays will show the narrowness or any loose bodies like bony pieces present at the joints. For Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Elbow that develops after an injury, the X-Ray may show improper joining of the bones. Rheumatoid arthritis pains of the elbow usually ours on the outside part of the elbow. This pain can prompt you to visit the doctor for a checkup. The area also feels tender at touch and can also feel warm. The other characteristic of elbow rheumatoid arthritis is reduced functioning of the joint as you fear to experience the pain.
Non surgical methods of treatment of the Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Elbow which are highly recommended less for mild cases. This non surgical methods includes things such as reduction on normal physical workload e.g. avoiding certain activities such as sporting, having rest after exercise or activities that involve our elbow may relieve stress at the joint. Powerful drugs may be prescribed to treat Rheumatoid arthritis of the elbow. Some of these include immune system suppressants, anti-malarial agents and gold salts. Physical therapy procedures may also be induced to curb the pain e.g. by applying heat or cold to the elbow and gentle exercises may be prescribed. Also devices that reduce stress on joints such as handle extensions to maintain daily activities, splint to help the elbow from the stress of moving May also be helpful.
For mild cases of Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Elbow where nonsurgical treatments are unsuccessful, surgical methods can be applied. The type of surgery however may depend on several factors such as the stage of the disease, the age, your expectations and your activity requirements. Some of the surgical options include Arthroscopy which involves insertions of instruments through the small joints of the elbow. There is also the traditional open surgery that also helps in treating elbow pain in case other medication n therapies have failed. It is good to note that surgery is only used in case your condition is not responding to other forms of treatment.