The elbow is a joint formed by the articulation of three bones in the upper extremity, the humerus, radius and ulna. Stability of the elbow is a complex interaction involving both hard tissue (bone and cartilage) and soft tissue (ligaments and tendons) elements. Both of these are critical to the function of the elbow in the performance of complex activities such as throwing a ball and simpler activities like brushing your hair or teeth. Dr. Lenarz is an expert in the treatment of complex injuries and conditions of the elbow including fractures, arthritis, instability/dislocations, ligament injuries (Tommy John), tendon injuries (biceps and triceps) and simpler problems like Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow (epicondylitis). Some of these conditions can be treated with minimally invasive, percutaneous or arthroscopic techniques and some require more complex open techniques.
If appropriate, non-operative management of elbow injuries or conditions is always the first choice. This may include physical therapy, medications, corticosteroid injections or other therapeutic measures. Factors affecting the decision between operative and non-operative treatment include the type of injury or condition, previous treatments attempted and primarily the functional needs of the patient. The patient will be given all of the information necessary to make an informed decision in their care. Dr. Lenarz will take the time to ensure that the patient understands the risks and benefits of all treatment options, the expected timeline of recovery and provide further references to ensure that the patient is well informed and comfortable with the decision.
When necessary, Dr. Lenarz will use the most contemporary and advanced surgical techniques to address the injury or condition. Most surgical interventions can be done with minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques. However, sometimes it is necessary to use open surgical techniques to adequately address the more complex issues of the elbow.
Our primary goal is to compassionately treat the injury or condition and expediently return the patient to their optimal function and by aiding them in achieving their goals; be it competing as a high level athlete, restoring gainful employment at a pre-injury functional level, or improving daily life by improving pain, range of motion or both.