The elbow gets its stability from over 20 muscles and numerous tendons and ligaments which work to connect and hold the bones of the elbow together.

The three bones that make the elbow joint are the humerus (upper arm bone), the ulna and radius (two bones that make up your forearm).

Cartilage protects the bones and enables them to move and absorb shock. The joint capsule is a fluid-filled sac that surrounds and lubricates the joint. 

If anything happens to any of these parts or the nerves and blood vessels around them, it can cause you pain and irritation.


At OSF HealthCare, we treat conservatively, and surgery is a last resort or used only when necessary.

We want you to enjoy as active a life as you can, so we often try physical or occupational therapy and non-narcotic medications first.

We can help with:

  • Arthritis
  • Broken bones (fractures)
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Dislocation
  • Distal biceps tendon rupture
  • Golfer's elbow