Degenerative elbow arthritis treatment can be divided into the non-surgical means to control the symptoms and the surgical procedures available to treat the condition. Surgery is usually not considered until it has become impossible to control the symptoms with non-surgical treatments.
Treatment usually begins when the elbow first becomes painful. Often pain only occurs with heavy use and may simply require mild anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, Tylenol® or Motrin®. Reducing activity or discontinuing heavy repetitive use of the arm may be necessary to help control the symptoms.
An injection of cortisone into the joint may give temporary relief. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication. Pain relief is temporary and usually lasts several weeks to months. There is a small risk of infection with cortisone injections.