Ultrasound Int Open 2016; 02(02): E38-E46
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1569455
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Ultrasonographic Differentiation of Lateral Elbow Pain

R. Obuchowicz
1   Radiology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
M. Bonczar
2   Surgery, Intermed, Krakow, Poland
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 05 July 2015

accepted 07 February 2016

Publication Date:
20 June 2016 (online)


Lateral elbow pain is often attributed to degenerative or posttraumatic impairment of the common extensor tendon. Ultrasonography assesses the soft tissue structures of the lateral elbow, allowing the differentiation between various underlying processes, including angiofibroblastic degeneration, hyaline degeneration, and inflammation, and exclusion of other possible causes of pain such as posterior interosseous and lateral antebrachial nerve compression. Furthermore, the real-time imaging nature of ultrasonography enables the detection of impingement of the lateral synovial fold, degenerative changes in the elbow recess, and elbow posterolateral instability during dynamic maneuvers. Ultrasonography is widely accessible and well tolerated by patients, making it a perfect method for establishing an initial diagnosis and monitoring the healing process. This review describes the possible causes of lateral elbow pain and their ultrasonographic differentiation.

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