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Phys Sportsmed. 1996 May;24(5):42-60. doi: 10.3810/psm.1996.05.1340.

Assessment and treatment guidelines for elbow injuries.

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Nirschl Orthopedic and Sports-medicine Clinic, Virginia Sportsmedicine Institute of the Arlington Hospital Medical Center, Arlington, VA, 22205, USA.


Acute elbow injuries are often collision related; chronic elbow injuries typically stem from overuse and valgus stress. What seems a purely traumatic injury, though, may actually represent an acute-on-chronic process, so a detailed history and physical exam are essential in pinpointing the injury process and making a specific diagnosis. Important details in the history are the quality, intensity, and onset of pain and the location of symptoms and their effect on function. The exam should include visual inspection, palpation, range of motion, and key tests such as applying valgus stress. Treatment can often be conservative, with emphasis on strength-building rehabilitation.


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