An Overview of the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Elbow Osteoarthritis

J Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2019 May 29;4(2):30. doi: 10.3390/jfmk4020030.


The elbow joint could be associated with degenerative processes of primary and post-traumatic aetiology. Among these, osteoarthritis may also be secondary to repeated use as well as trauma. Pain, discomfort and progressive loss of functionality are common signs of this condition. The evaluation of elbow osteoarthritis should comprise an in-depth study to detect the primary cause of the illness and to facilitate the decision-making process regarding personalized treatment. Discordance between clinical manifestations and radiological findings is common. Conservative approaches may provide symptomatic relief in the early stages of disease for most patients. The goal of the treatment is to reduce pain and ensure an adequate range of motion and proper functioning of the joint while preserving the anatomical structure, to postpone elbow arthroplasty interventions for as long as possible. According to treatment guidelines, surgery should be considered depending on aetiology and severity, patient age, and functional demands. This narrative review aims to investigate the current literature regarding the pathogenesis and treatment of primary and post-traumatic arthritis of the elbow.

Keywords: elbow arthritis; exercise; post-traumatic osteoarthritis; primary osteoarthritis; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review