Osteoarthritis of the elbow
This information is about osteoarthritis of the elbow. There are other forms of arthritis that may affect the elbow joint including Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis. These are inflammatory conditions and require diagnosis and management by a specialist healthcare practitioner.
Osteoarthritis is a process that involves wear and repair of the bones at a joint. The elbow can be affected by osteoarthritis but it is less common than in other joints. If you have previously broken a bone at the elbow, it can increase the chance of developing osteoarthritis in the joint.
Osteoarthritis is a common condition and is thought to affect around 9 million people in the UK. The arthritis charity, Versus Arthritis has produced a short video that explains more about osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis tends to affect women more than men and usually affects people over the age of 45. Obesity can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis, especially in joints that bear weight (such as hips and knees).
Joints are usually covered in a smooth substance called cartilage. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes roughened and the joint may not move as easily. As the body tries to repair itself, the structure of the tissues around the joint can become altered. This may lead to pain, swelling or difficulty moving the affected joint.