Elbow Examination

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From the front

  • For normal carrying angle

From the side

  • For flexion deformities

Observe posterior and medial aspect

  • Signs of scars
  • Swelling
  • Rashes
  • Olecranon bursitis
  • Rheumatoid nodules
  • Sciatic plaques


Compare temperature with adjacent sites.
Feel for tenderness in the:

  • olecranon process
  • lateral and medial epycondyles


Full extension and flexion, actively and passively.

  • Feel joint for crepitus.
  • Look for hypermobility, or other causes of excessive extension.

Also do pronation and supination, actively and passively.

  • The radial head can easily be identified when holding elbow.

Finally... Get them to touch nose to ascertain function.