MultiCare Health System

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The elbow joint is a hinge joint, which means it only opens in one direction. This may sound simple, but Elbow illustrationthe elbow joint is made more complex by the additional rotational range of motion that the forearm has, beginning at the elbow joint. A series of tendons, ligaments and muscles ensure smooth movement.

Many conditions of the elbow, where there is pain in the elbow, are actually not a result of elbow movement, but of wrist movement. Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow, for example, are both caused by bending the wrist toward the palm repeatedly and under stress. Because the muscles, ligaments and tendons are so interconnected, the elbow becomes the site of pain.

Common problems with the elbow

Problems with the elbow are often a result of repetitive stressful motion over time, such as hammering or serving a tennis ball. Even a hard weekend building your backyard deck can bring on elbow pain.


    • Fractures
    • Elbow Action 2
    • Dislocations



Diagnosis at MultiCare

Your initial appointment with a MultiCare orthopedic physician will include a full evaluation of your symptoms and recent activities. Establishing the source of the problem is the first step and will help determine your course of care. We may require x-rays, an MRI or a CT scan.

Treatment at MultiCare

MultiCare physicians are experienced in a wide range of treatment options for elbow pain, injury and aging, which might include:

Falling Hard for Vacation - A Patient's Story


After Logan took a hard fall, he knew that his arm was hurt. The clinical team at MultiCare Orthopedics & Sports Medicine made sure that not only was Logan’s broken arm treated, but that he received a special waterproof cast so he could enjoy his vacation - swimming pool and all. Today, thanks to MultiCare, Logan is back in action on the baseball field.