Shoulder Replacement

When is it time to consider shoulder replacement surgery?

And what type of surgery is right for you?

Shoulder replacement surgery requires careful thought and planning, but for those who’ve exhausted other treatment options, it can be the best way to restore range of motion, relieve pain and help you return to an active lifestyle.

Many different conditions can lead to the severe pain and joint degeneration that necessitates a shoulder replacement, including various types of arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis), serious fractures, or a combination of muscle tears and arthritis (such as rotator cuff tear arthropathy).

Understanding the source and nature of your shoulder pain will allow your orthopedic specialist to recommend the right procedure. Depending on the severity and type of condition, there are three types of shoulder replacements that are often considered.

Partial shoulder replacement surgery is often recommended when there is major damage to the head or ball of the upper arm bone (humerus), but the rest of the shoulder is healthy and intact. In this procedure, the ball portion of the upper arm bone is removed and replaced with metal.

Total shoulder replacement surgery is typically used to address arthritis and replaces both the damaged ball (the head of the humerus bone) and socket with metal and/or plastic. While total shoulder replacement recovery can take several months, patients often experience significant improvements in pain and motion following successful surgery and rehabilitation.

Otherwise healthy adults whose rotator cuff and deltoid are intact tend to be good candidates for total shoulder surgery. While there are few age or weight limits obesity, nicotine use and advanced age always increase the risk for post-surgical complications. Patients with severe osteoporosis or susceptibility to infections also have higher risks. 

Reverse shoulder replacement surgery may be the best option when there is significant damage to the shoulder tendons, namely the rotator cuff. If the shoulder joint is arthritic and there is a rotator cuff tear that cannot be repaired, a reverse shoulder replacement may be the best option for surgical treatment.

In this procedure, a prosthetic “ball”, usually metal, is placed on the shoulder socket. A plastic “cup” is then placed where the arthritic ball of the shoulder used to be. In doing so, the anatomy of the shoulder is “reversed” and the deltoid muscle is used to move the shoulder rather than the torn rotator cuff tendons.

Advanced Orthopedic has 10 board certifiedsurgeons who specialize in treatment of shoulder issues. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons considers patients with the following situations potential candidates for reverse rotator cuff surgery:

• A completely torn rotator cuff that cannot be repaired
• Rotator cuff tear arthropathy
• A previous shoulder replacement that was unsuccessful
• Severe shoulder pain and difficulty lifting your arm away from your side or over your head
• A complex fracture of the shoulder joint
• A chronic shoulder dislocation
• A tumor of the shoulder joint
• Patients who have tried other treatments, such as rest, medications, cortisone injections, and physical therapy, that have not relieved shoulder pain

If shoulder pain is severely limiting your daily activities or range of motion,and any of these descriptions apply, it might be time to raise your hand for shoulder replacement surgery. Contact our office to set an appointment.

Best Shoulder Surgeons

A. Todd Alijani, MD

Dr. A. Todd Alijani

Dr. Mark Failinger

James Ferrari, MD

Dr. James Ferrari

Wayne Gersoff, MD

Dr. Wayne Gersoff

Davis Hurley, MD

Dr. Davis Hurley

Cary Motz, MD

Dr. Cary Motz

H. Andrew Motz, MD

Dr. H. Andrew Motz

Dr. Justin Newman

John Papilion, MD

Dr. John Papilion

Dr. Micah Worrell

Dr. Micah Worrell

Dr. Keith Jacobson - 2018-2019 President-Elect for ABFAS

Dr. Keith Jacobson Elected as 2018-2019 President-Elect by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery

DENVER – July 26, 2018 –Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists is pleased to announce that Keith Jacobson, DPM will serve as an executive officer of the 2018-2019 American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS) President-Elect. His term begins September 1.

Dr. Jacobson is board certified in reconstructive rear foot/ankle surgery and foot surgery

By the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. He’s a national expert in foot surgery and reconstructive rear foot and ankle surgery and specializes in foot and ankle trauma and reconstruction in both adults and pediatrics. His areas of focus include:

  • Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Surgery
  • Foot and Ankle Trauma
  • Cartilage Replacement in the Ankle
  • Total Ankle Replacement
  • Arthroscopy of the Foot and Ankle

As a longtime ABFAS board member, Dr. Jacobson has also served asa chair for the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery Computer-based Patient Simulation Committee.

About Advanced Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists

Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists is widely recognized as the regional leader in comprehensive orthopedic services. The 19 physicians of Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists have received specialized training in orthopedic surgery and in subspecialty areas within the field of orthopedic medicine. They diagnose and treat even the most complicated orthopedic conditions and are supported by a professional staff of physician assistants, medical assistants, x-ray technicians and administrative personnel at our two offices in Denver and Parker. Learn more at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

Bunion Foot Pain

Painful bump on the side of your big toe? Why you shouldn’t ignore a bunion.

That painful bony bump on the side of your big toe? It’s probably a bunion. Nearly a quarter of people age 18-65 have bunions, making them one of the most common foot issues among adults. They also run in families and are more prevalent among women (thanks, cute heels), and among those over 65. In fact, more than a third of people over age 65 (36 percent) have bunions.

Whether it runs in your family or you’ve been choosing fashion over function, there are five key things you should know to deal with your bunion and move past the pain.

What causes bunion pain?

We know what predisposes people to getting bunions, but what’s happening with our feet to cause so much pain?  It starts when your big toe begins to turn in toward your second toe. As that happens, the joint at base of the big toe bone pushes out to the side, where it meets your footbone (called the first metatarsal) and that pressure causes pain. This area carries a great deal of weight when you are standing or walking, and that pressure causes pain. The area may become red and callused over time. The pain can become so severe that it’s difficult to wear shoes.

Bunions range from mild to severe and should be treated differently

Depending on how prominent and painful your bunion is, your orthopedic or podiatric surgeonmay recommend a variety of treatments that can slow the progression of your bunion, or minimize the pain, but surgery is the only way to truly correct the situation. Beware of ‘treatments’ claiming non-surgical bunion removal.

Popular methods to manage bunion pain and slow progression are wearing supportive well-fitting shoes that align your foot properly for walking, using orthotics or a gel pad to cushion the area when wearing shoes and wearing a splint at night.

There are a variety of available orthotics (or orthoses) including over-the-counter or off-the-shelf commercial products and, as necessary, custom-molded orthotics that are generally prescribed medical devices.

Bunion surgery may be needed

Moderate or severe bunions and can involve cutting the joint at the big toe and then aligning it properly. In more severe cases, the entire joint may be replaced with metal plates and screws.  See a video animation of how surgery corrects the bunion. 

Don’t ignore bunion pain

If you let a bunion become too severe, you are likely to run out of non-surgical options for pain relief and may even need to consider a more involved surgical procedure such as replacing a joint in your toe or fusing bones together. This equates to a longer and more complex recovery time, not to mention prolonging your pain unnecessarily by not seeing a doctor and making a treatment plan. If you’ve had pain for a year or more, it’s definitely time to see a doctor to review your options.

Recovery takes time
The most common kind of bunion surgery is on an out-patient basis and takes around two months to recover. Your doctor will work with you to create a recovery plan which may include a special boot, rest, stretching and/or physical therapy. Active adults who want to return to load bearing exercise like running and jumping may need longer to get back in the action – but that’s time well spent if they can return to their activities bunion and pain free.

Learn more about your bunion treatment options with one of our podiatric surgeons:

Best Foot and Ankle Surgeons

Keith Jacobson, DPM

Dr. Keith Jacobson

Alan Ng, DPM

Dr. Alan Ng

Scott Resig, MD

Dr. Scott Resig

Orthopedic Centers of Colorado Selects Clarify Health as Partner for Real-Time Patient Guidance

Colorado’s largest independent orthopedic, spine, and hand surgery group deploys Clarify’s Care Journey Platform to streamline clinician workflow and improve patient experience

Common Causes of Lower Back Pain (and How to Prevent Them)

Roughly 80 percent of adults experience lower back pain at one time or another, making it the third most burdensome condition among Americans according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study.

Thankfully, most lower back pain is “acute” – or short-term – lasting only a few days or weeks. This type of pain typically comes from strain on the lower back muscles after repetitive motion or heavy lifting, and symptoms can be relieved with rest, ice and an NSAID like Ibuprofen.

But when pain does not subside after more than 12 weeks, it’s considered chronic. Around 20 percent of those affected by acute lower back pain develop chronic lower back pain. Whether short-term or chronic, here are some of the most common causes of lower back pain, and ways to prevent or address them:

A sudden increase in activity: Spring cleaning, gardening and other outdoor activities have made many of us more active than we were over the winter. This sudden shift in activity level can make for sore muscles throughout the body – especially the lower back. If you’ve been sedentary and are inspired to get moving, take a measured approach. Limit your period of exertion to 10-20 minutes the first few times and build up your strength and endurance over time. If you are working in the yard or the house, take care to use tools and postures that support the body like lifting with your legs,and using a knee pad in the garden,rather than bending from a standing position.

Sitting too long or the wrong way: Even if your activity levels are relatively consistent, lower back pain can also come from poor posture and sitting too long in one position, such as at a desk or on a long flight or car ride. If you’re sitting at home or the office, you have many options to minimize or eliminate lower back pain. Start by sitting up straight and keeping your feet flat on the floor – good posture can go a long way to alleviate pain.

If you are accustomed to slouching, you’ll find that good posture takes practice and strength over time as you learn to engage your core and back muscles. You can also sit on an exercise ball or stand as both require you to engage your muscles to stay balanced. Standing desks are more popular and affordable than ever and many are adjustable from sitting to standing so you can take breaks as your body gets accustomed to the change.

If you’re riding in a car or a plane, use a lumbar support. Many cars have seat settings for the lumbar area, but planes obviously do not. Rolling up a small towel or your jacket can provide the same benefit: simply place it at the small of the back, near your belt level.

 Lack of Fitness: Back pain is more common among those who are not physically fit, particularly if they are carrying any extra weight. Excess bodyweight puts more stress on the back,and weak core muscles cannot counterbalance that weight to support the spine. In other words, mind your bodyweight and focus on building core strength. Our team of specialists recommends exercises to strengthen your core and back. The stronger your body overall, the more you can support your spine, and the better your back will feel.

Carrying too large a load: Whether you carry a backpack, briefcase, messenger bag, purse or even a baby, the weight of your load and how you carry it can cause or prevent lower back pain. Heavy loads strain the back and fatigue muscles, so be mindful not to overload backpacks and bags – especially for children. Wearing any type of bag on a single shoulder puts the spine out of balance, which can exacerbate the problem. Holding a child on one arm or hip has a similar effect. Instead, look for a bag or baby carrier that allows you to center the weight across your back or core.

Injury and disease:Back pain can also be related to degenerative diseases like arthritis, trauma, and disk injuries like bulging or ruptured (herniated) disks which can also lead tosciatica (when the herniated disc presses on the sciatic nerve, often causing additional pain in the legs and feet). If you have chronic lower back pain and have tried tactics to relive the pain,but still don’t have relief, it’s time to see an orthopedic spine doctor.A number of problems can change the structure of the spine or damage the vertebrae and surrounding tissue. Understanding the cause of your back pain is the key to proper treatment.

The highly qualified neck and spine orthopedic surgeons and physiatrists at Advanced Orthopedic & Sports Medicine have expertise in non-surgical spine care using conservative comprehensive care. Physical therapy, interventional spine care, and injections are among the most common. If spine surgery is necessary, our board-certified spine surgeon has advanced training in lower back procedures to help you overcome pain and live an active life. Learn more:

Best Lower Back Pain Specialists

Michael Shen, MD

Dr. Michael Shen

Christopher D'Ambrosia, MD

Dr. Christopher D’Ambrosia

Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Don’t let your hand go numb when your yard goes green: Carpal tunnel symptoms

As things green up and it feels safe to turn on the sprinklers, May in Colorado brings warm days, beautiful budding trees and plants…and an outdoor to-do list longer than the checkout line at Home Depot.

From gardening and raking to painting and cleaning, many of the most common spring maintenance tasks require the repetitive motions that can lead to hand, finger and/or thumb numbness and pain known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Hand doctors see more than 3 million cases of carpal tunnel syndrome in the US every year and many visits are related to repetitive use of hands and wrists.

The repetitive motion in your hand and wrist creates tension or pressure across the median nerve which controls the feeling and movement in your thumb and fingers. Compression of this nerve, known as carpal tunnel syndrome often presents with symptoms like numbness, tingling, weakness and pain in the hand, fingers and/or thumb.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for the first time, consider the activities you’re doing repeatedly that might be causing the pain – especially if you haven’t done that type of work for some time. Repeatedly squeezing clippers or garden shears, raking, sweeping and painting are all common examples.

If you’re just getting started with spring chores, try to break up continuous periods of activity to prevent pain and other symptoms. If you already have symptoms,it’s probably time for a breakto give your muscles, tendons and nerves a chance to rest and repair. If persistent or worsening, be sure to have your symptoms evaluated. Without treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome can weaken your thumb and fingers and reduce coordination.

If you start to experience symptoms, stop the repetitive activity and ice your hand and wrist for 10-15 minutes every couple of hours. You can also take anon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve the pain. It may take a few weeks to recover and be pain free and if you don’t see an improvement in that time frame (after stopping the activities that caused the pain in the first place), it’s time to see an orthopedic physician who specializes in hand and wrist injuries, including carpal tunnel.

A qualified hand doctor can recommend the right combination of evaluation and treatment for your situation and lifestyle.

The sooner you are diagnosed, the better chances you have to stop your pain and prevent any long-term damage. A hand doctor will evaluate your individual situation via a physical exam, x-rays if needed, and recommend a treatment program for recovery. In mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, resting and using a brace – even just at night – can relieve symptoms.

For more serious cases, steroid injections may alleviate the tingling and pain, or surgery can be considered. It’s important not to wait too long before seeing a doctor to determine the severity of your carpal tunnel syndrome in case surgery is needed. If the median nerve is compressed for too long, damage to the nerve – and the pain or numbness that goes with it – can be permanent.

Carpal tunnel surgery to release the pressure on the nerve is relatively simple and quick procedure that can be done on an outpatient basis with a local anesthetic. Most patients can return to their normal activities in a matter of days.

For diagnosis and treatment of hand and wrist pain, see an Advanced Orthopedic hand doctor at our Denver or Parker location. Call for an appointment (303) 344-9090.

Best Hand Surgeons

A. Todd Alijani, MD

Dr. Todd Alijani

Davis Hurley, MD

Dr. Davis Hurley

Dr. Micah Worrell

Dr. Micah Worrell

Knee Pain, Knee Surgery, Knee Surgeon

Knee Pain Making Your Glory Days Feel Like Ancient History?

Does your nagging knee pain remind you of your glory days as a star athlete perhaps being queen (or king) of your rec league? If you’re like many active adults, you’ve been competing in one form or another most of your life. But if an incoming weather front makes you think more about Advil than getting the gang together for a rematch, those old sports injuries might be catching up with you.

Believe it or not this is not all bad news – remaining active at any age helps us maintain mobility, flexibility and good mental health,as long as we take a smart approach to those activities. Addressing nagging knee pain is not the huge production it used to be. Gone are the days of four-inch scars and six weeks of immobilization. Today, relief can come in many forms,from physical therapy and other non-surgical solutions, to minimally invasive procedures that can offer immense relief and get you back in the game in a matter of weeks.

For many lifelong athletes, knee pain as an adult can be the result of a previous injury like a torn ACL, meniscus or MCL. According to the Cleveland Clinic, years after the original injury was repaired “post-traumatic arthritis” can and does occur in more than 5 million people in the US. Most non-traumatic arthritis occurs in adults 60 years or older so signs of arthritis in younger adults is often tied to a previous injury.

As we age, regular wear and tear from everyday life can compound the pain making it more difficult to stay active. Swelling due to accumulation of fluid in the knee can lead to pain and is one of the most common symptoms of knee arthritis or soft tissue injury in the knee.

If you have knee pain from an old injury, relief starts by ensuring you maintain a healthy body weight and emphasizing strength training – particularly in muscles around the knee – to protect the joint. It’s also more important than ever to incorporate low-impact exercise into your routine. Great options include biking, rowing, swimming, yoga and Pilates. By keeping multiple fitness goals in mind, such as strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness, you’ll be putting your whole body in a better position to stay healthy and be active.

But if you feel like you’ve been masking the symptoms of nagging knee pain with NSAIDs like Advil or meloxicam for far too long, it might be time for a visit to your orthopedic specialist. They can help you determine if an injection of cortisone or synthetic joint fluid can ease the pain, or if you need debris like damaged cartilage or bone removed from the joint. For some, knee reconstruction or replacement might be the best option as both procedures bring very effective and lasting relief without the massive recovery time you might recall from decades ago.

Preventing future injury

While there may not be many good ways to prevent the progression of arthritis and knee pain that comes years after an injury, you can still minimize future joint pain by working hard to prevent injuries today. Remember these tips:

  • Always warm up to get your body loose and ready to work.
  • Stretch before and especially after each workout or sports activity.
  • Make smart decisions about participating in contact sports – always wear the proper gear and try to minimize hard hits.
  • Listen to your body and don’t overdo it! Even if your competitive fire is at full strength, remember that your body may not heal as quickly or completely as it did years ago.

Knee Specialists

Dr. Mark Failinger

James Ferrari, MD

Dr. James Ferrari

Wayne Gersoff, MD

Dr. Wayne Gersoff

dr harold hunt denver co

Dr. Harold Hunt

Jared Michalson, MD

Dr. Jared Michalson

H. Andrew Motz, MD

Dr. Andy Motz

Cary Motz, MD

Dr. Cary Motz

John Papilion, MD

Dr. John Papilion

Scott Resig, MD

Dr. Scott Resig

R. Presley Swann, MD

Dr. Presely Swann

Hip labral tear

Limited Range of Motion, Deep Groin Pain, Catching – All Clues to a Hip Labral Tear

A Hip labral tear occur when the ring or seal around the hip socket is damaged.  The labrum cushions, seals and creates stability for the hip joint. Hip labral tears are generally the result of one of three causes: structural abnormalities, repetitive hip rotation activities, or high impact collisions.

Structural abnormalities. Some hip problems are the result of congenital bone abnormalities that cause impingement with hip motion.  This leads to excessive wear and tear at the joint that can eventually leads to a hip labral tear.

Physical activities that involve repetitive twisting, pivoting and repetitive hip rotation activities (e.g. golf, ballet, soccer, softball) cause strain on the joint that can lead to deterioration and ultimately a hip labral tear.

Finally, collisions when the joint is loaded at its greatest range of motion – such as falling or violent collisions found in sports like football or hockey –hip dislocations or instability can occur that may also result in hip labral tears.


Surprisingly, hip labral tears frequently show no signs of pain. When symptoms do present, they generally take the form of deep groin pain, gluteal pain, clicking, catching, locking, or giving out. If symptoms don’t resolve with time, or if they worsen, medical attention is needed. Limited range of motion or stiffness can also be indicators of a hip labral tear, which is why physicians test range-of-motion as part of an examination. Extensive hip and leg range-of-motion testing and walking analysis offer indications of possible labral tears. A more conclusive tear assessment is best provided by imaging technology such as an MRIs. These scans can also identify corresponding problems such as structural abnormalities or fractures.


Treatment options depend on the severity of symptoms and from the severity of joint or soft tissue damage. Conservative options include a short course of NSAIDs (eg. Advil or naproxen), brief periods of rest, the correct type of physical therapy, and occasionally injections. In addition, physical therapy can increase hip strength, stability and range of motion.

If conservative options do not resolve the joint pain, arthroscopic surgery may be required to treat the damaged joint. With this minimally invasive approach, the labrum is repaired, and the impingement caused by the bone is corrected.


Post-surgery rehab physical therapy is an important part of recovery. Our doctors have a detailed rehabilitation process that helps the patient and the therapist achieve the quickest and most successful recovery. This allows patients to improve their pain, improve their function, and get back to competition, sports, work and an active lifestyle.


Strength, stability and flexibility are your body’s best defense against hip labral tears. Exercises that foster hip and core strength and flexibility optimize the function of the hip joint to prevent tears or to diminish symptoms of a known labral tear. Cross-training exercises, exercises that properly activate the muscles around the hip, and those that increase strength and stamina of the muscles are paramount.

Dr. Justin Newman and Dr. Presley Swann both specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of hip labral tears. To learn more, or schedule an evaluation, click here.

Dr. Justin Newman

Dr. Justin Newman Recognized as a 2018 Forty Under 40 Honoree

Dr. Justin Newman

Advanced Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists’ Surgeon
Honored for Community Involvement and Business Leadership

DENVER – February 28, 2018 – Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists is pleased to announce that Dr. Justin Newman was selected for the Denver Business Journals’ prestigious 2018 Forty Under 40 class.

Dr. Newman is one of forty winners from more than 250 nominees evaluated in three specific categories: community involvement, leadership in business, and business recognition.

According to the Denver Business Journal, the 40 winners, all under age 40, represent the best in business that metro Denver has to offer. As in years past, the caliber of nominees and their accomplishments was unprecedented.

Dr. Newman’s selection highlights his role as a team physician for the US Ski and Snowboard teams, and as team physician for Lutheran, Littleton, Heritage and Arapahoe High Schools. He is on the board for the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) medical advisory committee, the public relations committee for the American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine and is involved with many other professional organizations and local groups.

As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Newman uses the most innovative techniques supported by the best research, and his practice focuses on returning his patients to sports, work and activity as quickly as possible. This includes helping patients to resolve sports injuries and to heal and preserve their hips, knees and shoulders. Dr. Newman specializes in sports medicine, hip arthroscopy, knee reconstruction and arthroscopy, and shoulder repair, reconstruction and arthroscopy.

About Advanced Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists

Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists is widely recognized as the regional leader in comprehensive orthopedic services. The 19 physicians of Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists have received specialized training in orthopedic surgery and in subspecialty areas within the field of orthopedic medicine. They diagnose and treat even the most complicated orthopedic conditions and are supported by a professional staff of physician assistants, medical assistants, x-ray technicians and administrative personnel at our two offices in Denver and Parker. Learn more at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Elbow Pain

Am I just sore or am I injured? Identifying and treating elbow pain.

It’s that time of year – everyone is back in the gym or joining a high-intensity workout program. If you’re among those who gave their work out a kick start at the beginning of the year – congrats! You’ve made it through month number one. As you have continued to be active, you’ve certainly endured some muscle soreness and fatigue, but how can you tell when it’s more than sore muscles? Chronic elbow pain is a common issue that occurs when people overdo it after starting a new workout regimen.

More than sore? Elbow Pain.

When you start a new workout, increase the intensity of your workouts, or even take on a major household task that you don’t perform regularly, you can expect to be sore. In order to avoid going from being sore to being injured, vary your workouts and train different muscle groups on different days. Rest is an essential part of the training process that allows your muscles to heal.

But even if you’re taking care to train smart, some symptoms mean the difference between muscle soreness due to fatigue and something more serious – here are three symptoms to watch for:

  1. Persistent pain on the outside or inside of the elbow accompanied by soreness in the forearm – particularly if the pain increases when you rotate your arm or grasp objects. This may represent one of the most common elbow injuries known as tennis or golfer’s elbow. While it may affect people playing those sports, it is more often caused by a number of repetitive motions including common daily tasks and other sporting activities.
  2. Redness and swelling behind the elbow to the point that it is noticeable could be bursitis – inflammation of the bursa or cushion between the skin and the point of the elbow. By contrast, a healthy bursa lies flat against the bone and isn’t easily visible nor is it painful. Doing a lot of “planks” in your workout routine? Repeatedly putting your elbows on a hard surface, like when in a plank position, could be inflaming your bursa.
  3. Burning or numbness in your elbow, arm, or fingers can be caused when one of several nerves that runs through your elbow is under pressure. Commonly known as the “funny bone,” compression of the ulnar nerve can result from repetitive bending, direct trauma, or pressure on the elbow. Planks, tricep extensions, and many other elbow exercises could cause this type of nerve pain.

If you have nagging elbow pain, numbness, swelling, or loss of motion, it’s time to see an upper extremity orthopedic physician. He or she can diagnose an elbow injury and create a treatment plan. Your orthopedic specialist can also help you stay active and determine if it’s wise to train around the injury or follow a more conservative approach.

Many elbow injuries can be addressed with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories. In some cases, however, more specific treatment may be necessary. If you do have a muscle strain, tendon tear, or other serious damage, continued activity could make it worse.

Muscle soreness from a tough workout or a new routine might last a few days, but consistent or increasing pain over longer periods of time may indicate a more serious situation. See your orthopedic upper extremity specialist to diagnose and treat your elbow injury.