Elbow stiffness is one of the most common problems in the elbow. Many cases are a result or injury or previous fractures, but arthritis may also cause stiffness. The elbow joint is particularly prone to stiffness due to the complex arrangement of the joint and the surrounding muscles and ligaments.
Stiffness in the elbow can be functionally limiting, but often other symptoms such as “locking”, swelling or pain can be associated and in fact prove more troublesome.
Investigation will usually require an X-ray and sometimes specialist scans are needed to clarify the problem.
Treatment for elbow stiffness, especially following an injury, will usually begin with physiotherapy. Severe cases, or patients with other symptoms such as locking due to loose bodies, will require surgery. Many cases can be performed under arthroscopy (keyhole surgery), though conventional “open” surgery is often required for more severe cases.
To ask a question about elbow stiffness or to book an appointment, contact our specialist team available Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm. Our shoulder team have a dedicated and caring approach and will seek to find you the earliest appointment possible with the correct specialist for your needs.
If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP. You can simply refer yourself and book an appointment. If you have medical insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer for authorisation for any treatment and, in most cases, you will require a referral letter from your GP.
If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use. Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.