Posterior Olecranon Osteophyte

What is it?
The olecranon process is the back part of your elbow. Over time osteophytes, which are like bony projections or bone spurs, may form reducing the amount of space in the joint needed for full and pain free range of motion. People who hold manual jobs, athletes, and jobs that cause excessive stress on the elbow joint are all susceptible to this condition.


  • Pain in the elbow with no specific mechanism of injury
  • Decrease in range of motion
  • Catching or locking of the joint during movement

How is it diagnosed?
Clinical exam can reveal joint crepitus and loss in range of motion. Further imaging studies, such as x-rays, will highlight the osteophyte and lose body formation.

For long-term relief and to regain lost range of motion, surgical intervention involving an arthroscopic procedure is the best treatment plan. Excision, or removal, of the lose bodies and debridement of the osteophyte(s) will allow the joint to utilize the space it had before the arthritic formation began. Post-operatively you will progress through a formal physical therapy program to regain the range of motion and you will strengthen the muscles supporting the elbow.