It is important to note that arthritis can develop in any part of the body. Although there are various types of arthritis, the prevalent form that typically involves the elbow joint is no other than osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is best described as a “wearing away” ailment. With usage and age, the cartilage in the affected joint degrades. Once this occurs, the bone rubs on the bone that can cause a variety of symptoms and even deformity in severe cases. It is also possible to develop rheumatoid arthritis in the elbow. When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, the symptoms are somewhat similar and others are specific to each condition. Being able to recognize the symptoms of elbow arthritis can help determine the exact type of arthritis and the suitable treatment option.
Locking or grating sensations
If osteoarthritis is suspected, the individual might hear or feel a grating sound or sensation. The grating is usually the result of bone rubbing against bone since the cartilage has already worn away. There is also a sensation of locking of the elbow joint. Take note that this occurs due to the slack pieces of bone or cartilage that lodge into the joint and limits the ability of the joint to move.
Pain and diminished movement
When it comes to osteoarthritis, there is pain once bone rubs against bone. There are times when the pain can be piercing but it can also be a dull ache sometimes. Remember that with this type of elbow arthritis, the pain can be worsened by certain movements and relieved by others.
The severity of pain usually depends on the amount of damage endured by the joint. Loss of range of motion in the joint is another usual symptom of osteoarthritis.
What are the advanced symptoms?
During the late stages of elbow osteoarthritis, the elbow joint might become swollen or inflamed. Remember that this swelling can add pressure on the surrounding nerves and result to tingling sensations in the elbow joint, hands or fingers. In case there is excess pressure over a nerve, the individual might end up with muscle weakness in the hand as well. In some cases, joint instability can develop with the condition progressing to a point where it is not possible to straighten or bend the elbow.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can affect the elbow joint. This type of elbow arthritis can cause pain, inflammation and severe deformity of the joint. In most cases, the affected joint is tender, red and warm.
It is easy to distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from osteoarthritis. With rheumatoid arthritis, both elbows are usually affected with similar symptoms. As for osteoarthritis, only one elbow is involved. If an individual has rheumatoid arthritis, he/she not only experiences symptoms in the elbow but also anemia, fatigue and other symptoms linked with an autoimmune condition. In addition, other joints are also affected as well.