Elbow arthritis is caused when the cartilage between bones is no longer present and the bones rub against each other.

Nonsurgical treatments such as medication, injections, physical therapy, and changing how you do some activities are usually tried first.

If the nonsurgical treatments don't work, surgery is used. Someone may have an elbow arthroscopy to remove loose cartilage or bone pieces, remove diseased tissue, or smooth out the joint.

If arthroscopy isn't enough, an elbow replacement is also possible.