Elbow stiffness is a relatively common and significant elbow problem. It could be due to trauma (perhaps a fracture), inflammation, arthritis, tendonitis or tendinopathy (like tennis and golfers elbow) or impingement of the bones and soft tissues. Sometimes patients develop elbow stiffness with swelling.
Stiffness in the elbow can cause many problems. Often the specialist who sees you may need to organise special tests like Xrays, MRI scans, ultrasound scans, nerve tests and blood tests to diagnose the problem.
Treatment for elbow stiffness, often includes physiotherapy and sometimes injections. However some patients require surgery. This is normally performed by a key-hole procedure (elbow arthroscopy). Although this is a relatively simple straight forward procedure, we often keep people in hospital after elbow arthroscopies for stiffness, so each patient can have intensive physiotherapy after surgery, to decrease the risk of the condition recurring.
Ask your elbow doctor / specialist for more information if required, when you see him.