Directory of Diseases
The radius is one of the bones of your forearm that goes from the elbow to the wrist. The radial head is the part of the radius that meets the elbow. Radial head fractures occur in up to 33 percent of elbow fractures and most often occur when the patient falls and lands on an outstretched hand. The majority of patients heal completely in 3-4 weeks with immobilization (splint or sling). If you have significant pain in the elbow after falling and you have a lot of pain when you try to turn your wrist, then you may have a radial head fracture. There are many different types of radial head fractures and treatment should be determined by a physician.
The radial tunnel is the tunnel in which the radial nerve enters the elbow. The radial nerve runs from the neck to the back of the upper arm and then through the forearm and hand. Radial tunnel syndrome is a condition where this nerve becomes compressed at the elbow. Although it is hard to distinguish it from "tennis elbow", it is different in that it often causes numbness or tingling to the forearm and hand. A specialist can make appropriate treatment recommendations for radial tunnel syndrome.
Radiculopathy or "pinched nerve" is a condition in which the root of a nerve that exits the spinal column is being pinched by either a herniated disc or narrowing of its exit canal. This squeezing of the nerve causes it not to function properly. It may cause shooting pain, weakness, tingling, and numbness. Symptoms are similar to when on sits the wrong way and causes the foot to "fall asleep". In this case, changing position resolves symptoms. In a radiculopathy, the symptoms do not resolve from change in position because the compression is either from a herniated disc, a fracture, a hematoma, spinal stenosis, or from an abnormal fluid collection.