The Elbow pp 41-57 | Cite as

Clinical Examination and Scores

  • Davide Blonna
  • Filippo Castoldi


Along with a detailed patient history, the clinical examination of the elbow is the first important step in order to make proper diagnosis and treatment decisions. Careful scrutiny can reveal bony alterations, angular deformities, soft tissue swelling and muscle atrophy. The main structures to be palpated are the epicondyles, the ulnar nerve, the olecranon bursa, the radial head, the arcade of Fröhse, the lacertus fibrosus and the distal biceps. A standard position to evaluate the range of motion is mandatory to obtain reliable results. Several specific tests are available to investigate medial, lateral, anterior and posterior symptoms: these tests have to be performed correctly in order to be effective and preserve their accuracy. Finally, to perform a thorough elbow examination, the physician must not forget structures like the cervical spine, the shoulder and the wrist. In the era of evidence-based medicine, accurate tools for assessing preoperative physical examination and clinical results are mandatory: both physician-administered and patient-administered scores are available, and also some non-elbow-specific scores can be useful.


Elbow Examination Visual assessment Palpation Range of motion Symptoms Test Score 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Blonna
    • 1
  • Filippo Castoldi
    • 2
  1. 1.Mauriziano-Umberto I Hospital, University of Turin Medical SchoolTurinItaly
  2. 2.II Orthopaedics and Traumatology Department, University of Turin, Orthopaedics and Traumatology CenterTurinItaly

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