The elbow is an important synovial hinge and pivot joint of the upper extremity. Given its superficial position, the elbow joint is easily evaluated by ultrasonography. This joint represents a common site of musculoskeletal complaints, which affect all age groups. Both joint and paraarticular structures are amenable to ultrasound evaluation. The elbow ultrasound examination lends itself to an organized anatomical approach: anterior, lateral medial, and posterior. Evaluation can be targeted to the area of the patient’s symptoms or to a specific clinical question.


Ulnar Nerve Radial Head Elbow Joint Medial Epicondyle Distal Humerus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    van Holsbeeck MT. Sonography of the elbow, wrist, and hand. In: van Holsbeeck M, Introcaso JH, eds., pp. 517–571. Musculoskeletal Ultrasound. St. Louis: Mosby, 2001.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barbarie JE, Wong AD, Cooperberg PL et al. Extended field-of-view sonography in musculoskeletal disorders. AJR 1998;171:751–757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Moore KL. The upper limb. In: Clinically Oriented Anatomy, 2nd ed., pp. 626–793. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1985.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Johnson D, Ellis H, eds. Elbow. In: Standring S, editor-in-chief. Gray’s Anatomy. The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice, 39th ed., pp. 859–866. London: Elsevier, 2005.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Daniels DL, Mallisee TA, Erickson SJ et al. The elbow joint: Osseous and ligamentous structures. Radiographics 1998;18:229–236.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hogan MF, Rupich RC, Bruder JB et al. Age-related variability in elbow joint capsule thickness in asymptomatic children and adults. J Ultrasound Med 1994;13:211–213.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jacobson J, Propeck P, Jamadar DA et al. US of the anterior bundle of the ulnar collateral ligament: Findings in five cadaver elbows with MR arthrographic and anatomic comparison–-initial observations. Radiology 2003;227: 561–566.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ward LI, Teefey SA, Paletta GA et al. Sonography of the medial collateral ligament of the elbow: A study of cadavers and healthy adult male volunteers. AJR Am J Roentgen 2003;180:389–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fornage BD. Peripheral nerves of the extremities: Imaging with US. Radiology 1988;167:179–182.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Silvestri E, Martinoli C, Derchi LE et al. Echotexture of peripheral nerves: Correlation between US and histologic findings and criteria to differentiate tendons. Radiology 1995;197:291–296.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Martinoli C, Bianchi S, Derchi L. Ultrasonography of peripheral nerves. Semin Ultrasound, CT MRI 2000;21(3):205–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Okamoto M, Abe M, Shirai, H et al. Morphology and dynamics of the ulnar nerve in the cubital tunnel: Observation by ultrasonography. J Hand Surg (Br) 2000;25:85–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Loewy J. Sonoanatomy of the median, ulnar and radial nerves. Can Assoc Radiol J 2002;53:33–38.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Martinoli C, Bianchi S, Giovagnorio F, Pugliese F. Ultrasound of the elbow. Skeletal Radiol 2001;30:605–614.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Martinoli C, Bianchi S, Zamorani MP, Sunsunequi JL, Derchi LD. Ultrasound of the elbow. Eur J Ultrasound 2001;14:21–27.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Finlay K, Ferri M, Friedman L. Ultrasound of the elbow. Skeletal Radiol 2004;33:63–79.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Barr LL, Babcock DS. Sonography of the normal elbow. AJR Am J Roentgenol 1991;157:793–798.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    De Maeseneer M, Jacobson JA, Jaovisidha S et al. Elbow effusions: Distribution of joint fluid with flexion and extension and imaging implications. Invest Radiol 1998;33:117–125.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Breidahl WH, Newman JS, Taljanovic MS, Adler RJ. Power Doppler sonography in the assessment of musculoskeletal fluid collections. AJR 1996;166:1443–1446.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Newman JS, Aderl RS, Bude RO, Rubin JM. Detection of soft- issue hyperemia: Value of power Doppler sonography. AJR Am J Roentgenol 1994;163:385–389.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Miles KA, Lamont AC. Ultrasonic demonstration of the elbow fat pads. Clin Radiol 1989;40:602–604.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bianchi S, Martinoli, D. Detection of loose bodies in joints. Radiol Clin North Am 1999;37:679–690.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Giuffre BM, Lisle DA. Tear of the distal biceps branchii tendon: A new method of ultrasound evaluation. Australasian Radiol 2005;49:404–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nazarian LN, McShane JM, Cicotti MG et al. Dynamic US of the anterior band of the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow in asymptomatic major league baseball pitchers. Radiology 2003;227:149–154.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Jacobson JA, Jebson PJ, Jeffers A et al. Ulnar nerve dislocation and snapping triceps syndrome: Diagnosis with dynamic sonography–-report of three cases. Radiology 2001;220:601–605.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Finlay
    • 1
  1. 1.Staff Radiologist, Diagnostic Imaging, Hamilton Health Sciences–Henderson DivisionMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

Personalised recommendations