3 common and 3 uncommon symptoms of a bone spur in the elbow

June 16, 2022

When you become injured, your body immediately springs into action. While this is normally beneficial, there are some cases in which the body overcorrects in its attempts to heal itself after an injury. Bone spurs are one such example of this. After an injury to your bones or joints, the body will attempt to grow more bone to fix the injured area. This can cause small bony growths known as bone spurs to form around the joints. 

Bones spurs often form in the elbow after a traumatic injury such as a fracture. They can also be caused by degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis, as well as autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. While bone spurs are normally harmless, there are times when bone spurs in the elbow can lead to unpleasant symptoms.

What are the symptoms of bone spurs?

The symptoms of bone spurs can often be similar to those of other joint-related conditions. Your physical therapist can diagnose the cause of your discomfort and develop a treatment plan that is suitable for your needs. Some of the most common symptoms of bone spurs are:

  1. Loss of mobility — The presence of bone spurs can prevent you from using your elbow’s full range of motion. You may not be able to fully extend your arm, or you may lose the ability to bend it as far as you normally would.
  1. Pain in the elbow — Bone spurs can often become painful, especially when they obstruct your elbow’s range of motion. Attempting to forcefully move your affected elbow can result in pain.
  1. Swelling — Bone spurs are often accompanied by swelling. Swelling is the result of inflammation, which is the body’s natural response to an irritant.

However, bone spurs can also result in some symptoms that are more uncommon, but just as troublesome. Some of the rarer symptoms of bone spurs in the elbow include:

  1. Loose bodies — Sometimes, a bone spur can break from the bone and become a loose body in the elbow. This can result in increased irritation, swelling and pain in the elbow.
  1. Bumps under the skin — If your bone spurs are large or located on the outside of your elbow joint, they can sometimes be seen or felt underneath the skin. This can cause pain if the bumps are impacted.
  1. Locked joint — If a bone spur breaks from the bone, there is a chance it can become caught between the joints of the elbow. This can cause the elbow joint to lock, making you unable to move or bend your elbow.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for bone spurs of the elbow

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and who can help you address the symptoms of elbow bone spurs. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.