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Can you get osteoarthritis in your elbow?

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Osteoarthritis is more common in weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips, but it can also affect the elbow. Osteoarthritis happens because of the loss of cartilage that cushions the joints, causing the bones to rub together. That can come from too much wear and tear on the elbow joint from repetitive movements, such as from sports or work. It can also happen because of previous injuries, including a dislocation or fracture, which can wear down the cartilage and cause osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common cause of elbow arthritis. The chronic inflammatory disease causes your immune system to attack the lining of your joints, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation. It often affects joints on both sides of the body. So it could be the culprit if both elbows, not just one, ache.

Gout is another possibility. It happens when uric acid builds up in the bloodstream, leading to deposits of sharp crystals in the tissues and joints. You’d feel intense pain and swelling in the elbow joint.

If you have psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis could cause elbow pain. The disease causes pain and inflammation in the joints, including the elbow. Not everyone with psoriasis gets psoriatic arthritis.

SOURCES:

Cedars-Sinai: “Arthritis of the Elbow.”

American Academy of Osteopathic Surgeons: “Osteoarthritis of the Elbow.”

Arthritis Foundation.

CDC: “Arthritis-Related Statistics.”

American College of Rheumatology: “Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

UpToDate: “Evaluation of elbow pain in adults,” “Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of osteoarthritis.”

Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo on May 04, 2020

SOURCES:

Cedars-Sinai: “Arthritis of the Elbow.”

American Academy of Osteopathic Surgeons: “Osteoarthritis of the Elbow.”

Arthritis Foundation.

CDC: “Arthritis-Related Statistics.”

American College of Rheumatology: “Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

UpToDate: “Evaluation of elbow pain in adults,” “Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of osteoarthritis.”

Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo on May 04, 2020

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Can you get gout in your elbow?

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