The Inflammation of the elbow is a disease that is widespread in the population. It is one of the most common reasons to see a doctor in an orthopedic practice. Various causes can be responsible for an inflammatory process on the elbow.


A Inflammation of the elbow usually causes a number of typical complaints, which of course can vary in severity depending on the cause. However, always kick Pain over the joint. They can appear at rest, but usually intensify with movement.

Furthermore, the affected part of the Swollen elbow, overheated and pressure sensitive be. These are typical signs of inflammation. The pain and swelling can limit your range of motion. If these complaints are very pronounced, tasks that stress the inflamed elbow cannot be carried out or only with difficulty.

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Possible causes of inflammation of the elbow:

  • arthritis
  • Olecranon bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Tennis elbow / tennis elbow
  • Golfer's elbow
  • Trauma

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Who am I?
My name is dr. Nicolas Gumpert. I am a specialist in orthopedics and the founder of .
Various television programs and print media report regularly about my work. On HR television you can see me every 6 weeks live on "Hallo Hessen".

As a former performance-oriented tennis player, I specialized early on in the conservative treatment of the elbow.

You can find me in:

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    Kaiserstrasse 14
    60311 Frankfurt am Main

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Unfortunately, it is currently only possible to make an appointment with private health insurers. I hope for your understanding!
Further information about myself can be found at Dr. Nicolas Gumpert

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The arthritis describes the inflammation in the elbow joint. This can be infection-related or non-infection-related.
At a infection-related arthritis there are two ways the bacteria could get into the elbow. Either through one open wound or at one generalized bloodstream infectionwhich is less common. For previous medical interventions, such as An operation or an injection into the joint can also carry germs that cause arthritis.
The non-infectious arthritis, also known as Rheumatoid arthritis, is a disease that belongs to the rheumatic group. That means there are no bacteria here that can cause inflammation, but rather one autoimmune response instead of. This is where the immune system comes in body's own structures and gradually destroys them in a chronic inflammatory process. In our case, this is the articular cartilage of the elbow.

Olecranon bursitis

At a Bursitis is not the elbow joint itself, but the one Inflamed bursa in the elbow joint. This can acute or chronic be.
Various causes can trigger bursitis: Infection from injury, also internal bursa injuries after one Fall or one bruise, Rheumatoid arthritis as an underlying disease or a permanent mechanical irritation of the elbow (e.g. the so-called "Informatic bursitis olecrani"Or the" student elbow ", which occurs especially with students due to frequent support while reading).

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At a Tendinitis (Tendovaginitis) is the Shellwhich normally protect the muscle tendons from rubbing on the bones, ignited and hurts. The most common reason for this inflammation in the elbow is that excessive or monotonous stress individual muscle groups. This can happen even if you do a lot of computer work by using the mouse or keyboard. Musicians and craftsmen are also often affected by tendinitis.

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Tennis elbow / tennis elbow

In the so-called tennis elbow, the tendon attachment to the elbow is affected. The tendon attachment is on Epicondyle, the small protrusion of bone on the outside of the elbow. The muscles of this tendon attachment are responsible for the extension of the fingers and hand. Contrary to what the name suggests, tennis players are usually no longer affected by this disease.
Rather, it is triggered by unusual and excessive stress. For example, after manual work that is otherwise not done. This unusual strain sometimes leads to minor injuries at the tendon insertion, which can develop into inflammation at the elbow and thus trigger the pain and symptoms described above.

Read a lot more information on the topic at: Tennis elbow

Golfer's elbow

Just like with tennis elbow, it is also with Golfer's elbow the tendon attachment at the elbow inflamed. However, in this case the tendon attachment on the opposite bone protrusion is affected. This is where the muscles that are responsible for flexing the fingers and hands come in. The cause of the inflammation is also here one unusual and excessive strain on the muscles. The golfer's elbow occurs overall less common than the tennis elbow.

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Click here if you want more Tendinitis on the elbow want to experience.


After a Fall or one bruise can result in an open wound bacterial infection and thus one Inflammation in the elbow come.But an internal injury, such as a tear in the bursa, can also lead to inflammation. So if complaints arise after a fall (this can also only be the case a few days after the event) that persist for a longer period of time, you should Consulted a doctor to get to the bottom of the cause.


In the Diagnosis first finds a detailed survey about the complaints instead. The question is how long the complaints have existed and whether there may have been a triggering event. It should also be clarified whether there are movements or situations in which the pain is getting worse, or whether it already exists at rest. The question of the job or leisure activities is also important. This is all information that can already help to determine the origin of the inflammation. In certain professional areas such as Office activities that involve a lot of work on the PC, but also manual activities that are carried out professionally, can overstrain certain muscle groups. Eventually, this can cause inflammation of adjacent structures on the elbow.
The elbow is generally inspected and on Signs of inflammation examined. These include the swelling, possibly an effusion, overheating and tenderness.
Furthermore, a Agility test carried out using certain functional tests. On the one hand, it serves to find out through provocation which movement primarily triggers the pain and whether movement restrictions are already present. Both provide information on the more precise localization of the inflammation.
In addition to the collection of the medical history and physical examination, depending on the question, various imaging procedures and Laboratory controls carried out.
in the roentgen the bony structures can be assessed. An indication for this would be a previous trauma to rule out a fracture. Changes that are triggered by rheumatoid arthritis can also be recorded in the X-ray.
At the MRI of the elbow In addition to the bony structures, the soft tissues are also shown, thus enabling the assessment of inflammatory processes on the tendon sheaths or on the bursa.
A Ultrasonic is also good for showing the soft tissues. Another advantage for the examiner is that the elbow can be viewed in the ultrasound while moving.
A Puncture is performed when there is a joint effusion. On the one hand, the puncture can relieve the joint, on the other hand, the microbiological examination of the material obtained enables a more precise statement about the cause of the effusion.
in the laboratory are the so-called Inflammation parameters certainly. If these are increased, this confirms that there is inflammation in the body. If there is a suspicion that the inflammation is rheumatic, you can also Rheumatoid factors to be determined.

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First of all, conservative therapy is started for inflammation of the elbow.

Therapy for inflammation of the elbow is done first conservative treated. Usually be pain reliever and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed. These are drugs from the group of so-called NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-rheumatic drugs). These include, for example Ibuprofen and Diclofenac.
Often there is a rapid improvement in pain and inflammation symptoms through ingestion. If ibuprofen or diclofenac is taken for a longer period in higher doses, a prophylactic drug should also be used Stomach protection be taken as they can cause stomach upset. Usually they are Omeprazole or Pantoprazole.
At very severe pain there is also the possibility cortisone drugs or Local anesthetics inject directly into the joint space. Furthermore, the affected arm should be immobilized and cooled in the acute phase.
Is the inflammation rheumatic The underlying disease is also conditional Anti-inflammatory drugs and Cortisol treated.
One that is easy to manufacture Home remedies to treat an inflamed elbow is a Envelope with curd. He alleviates through his cooling and anti-inflammatory effects Complaints. Arnica ointment or -oil can also be used well for external application.

In the homeopathy will gladly with an inflammation in the elbow Potassium chlorate used. It is available as globules or ointment.
The physiotherapy is especially useful if the inflammation is caused by an incorrect or excessive strain on certain muscles. The muscles can be specifically strengthened through exercises and shortened tendons can be stretched again in order to alleviate the symptoms. A special massage technique is often used for this purpose (Transverse friction).
The physiotherapist also has the option of closing the joint taping.
Other therapeutic options are one Shock wave treatment using ultrasound, the Electrotherapy or one Laser treatment.
Which measure is used in each individual case depends on the Severity of inflammation from. If there is no improvement when the conservative therapy options are consistently carried out, surgery should be considered.
A Special case represents a bacterial inflammation dar, here one is enough medical therapy usually Not out. Usually there is one here surgical intervention as a first measure to prevent further destruction of the joint or the spread of germs. The joint is opened, cleaned and a suction-irrigation drainage is applied. Additionally must Antibiotics be taken.

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The forecast is of course strongly dependent on the cause of the inflammation, but can be classified as good overall. Most of those affected already benefit from the conservative methods of treatment. Surgical intervention rarely needs to be performed. In a few cases, however, the symptoms can become chronic and require permanent pain management or surgery.


sportsthat put a lot of strain on the elbow Be avoided. If these are carried out anyway, the following rules can be observed: Warm up well before exercise and the Stretch the musclesto avoid injury. If there is any sign of pain, give a Take a break and loosen the corresponding muscles.
In addition, a Elbow splint stabilize the joint and thus have a preventive effect on inflammation of the elbow
If you have a job in which monotonous activities strain the muscles in the elbow (computer workstation), you should always Relaxation exercises be performed.
In the physical therapy or physiotherapy techniques can be learned, which you can then independently incorporate into your everyday life as training. Regular use of these exercises strengthens the muscles and stabilizes the joint and thus has a preventive effect against initial or renewed inflammation. Furthermore can Upholstery Relieve the forearm and elbow at work.

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