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Elbow pain Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Elbow pain. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you had elbow pain for?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. Do you experience the pain in one or both elbows?

    Why: unilateral or bilateral.

  3. Point to the area where you experience the pain?

    Why: may help with the diagnosis e.g. pain over the outer side of the elbow which may be referred down the back of the forearm suggests lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow); pain over the inner side of the elbow which does not tend to radiate very far may suggest medial epicondylitis (golfer's elbow); pain and swelling over the back of the elbow may suggest olecranon bursitis.

  4. Is there a history of trauma?

    Why: e.g. children under the age of 8 years of age are prone to pulled elbows which may result when an adult applies sudden upward traction to a child's outstretched arm which may cause the radius bone to be pulled out of the supporting ligament; if a child falls onto their outstretched hand it may result in potentially severe deforming fractures of the bones around the elbow; fall onto the outstretched hand may cause dislocated elbow or fractures around the elbow in adults.

  5. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout - are all inflammatory disorders that may cause pain around the elbow.

  6. Symptoms of a pulled elbow?

    Why: e.g. crying child refuses to use the arm, arm is held limp by the side or supported in the child's lap. Usually nil bruising or deformity is seen but there is tenderness around the elbow.

  7. Symptoms of lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)?

    Why: e.g. usually middle aged between age 40-60, usually gradual onset of pain in the outer side of the elbow which may radiate down the back of the forearm. Pain is made worse with certain hand movements such as turning on taps, turning door handles, picking up objects with a grasping action, carrying buckets, pouring tea and shaking hands. Note that only 5% of people with this condition actually play tennis. The condition is an overuse sporting or occupational injury, being common in those who are relatively unfit or those commencing an unaccustomed activity.

  8. Symptoms of medial epicondylitis (golfer's elbow)?

    Why: e.g. pain on the inner side of the elbow which does not radiate far.

  9. Symptoms of olecranon bursitis?

    Why: e.g. soft swelling at the back of the elbow which may be red and warm. This may be caused by direct injury to the elbow, chronic friction, rheumatoid arthritis, gout or infection.

  10. Neck pain?

    Why: may suggest cervical spondylosis (cervical spine degeneration) as the cause of elbow pain, as the pain form the neck may radiate as far as to the distal arm.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Elbow pain:

The following list of conditions have 'Elbow pain' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Elbow pain or choose View All.

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