Tag Archives: orthopedics

A PATIENT’S ELBOW SWELLS SPONTANEOUSLY AND HE NEEDS ADVICE

golf-ball-378544_640A PATIENT WRITES….

Dear Doctor Doug:

 

I just noticed a swelling on my left elbow, about the size of golf ball.  It is not hot or red.

No pain. Feels like it’s full of water. Should it be punctured??

Right elbow is fine.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Nick

AND I RESPOND:

This is OLECRANON BURSITIS..and often occurs spontaneously.

It is swelling of a lubricant sack around the elbow…and will resolve….very slowly…with time.

It can take a few weeks to 2 months.

Be patient….not much you can do for it..and I would not have it drained..that is a last resort.

Put a wrap (ace or elastic around it during the day)…and don’t overuse or lean on the elbow.

See if this improves.

If it is red or hot….please see me as this indicates inflammation and medication or antibiotics may be needed if there is an infection.

 

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