Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What Is The Difference Between Epicondyle and Condyle?

This is a quick anatomy stub post on what is the difference between an epicondyle and a condyle?

First, some definitions:

Condyle: a rounded eminence at the end of long bones, often articulating with another bone. The term comes from the Greek for knuckle

Epicondyle: a bony covering that overlies a condyle, most often used in reference to the distal humerus at the level of the elbow

Anatomic relationships of epicondyles to condyles
Source: Wikipedia
At the elbow, the condyle form the trochlea which articulates with the ulna, and the capitulum, which articulates with the radius. As the image above shows, the epicondyles are medial and lateral to the condyles respectively, and do not have articulations.

The lateral epicondyle is often referenced in patients with tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis. The syndrome is an overuse injury of the common extensor tendon, first described in lawn tennis players.

The much less common medial epicondylitis, also known as golfer's elbow, is a similar phenomenon affecting the inner aspect of the elbow.

Findings for both entities are best described on MRI. As always, starting with basic anatomy from a text like Netter's Anatomy is very helpful.