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Elbow Bursitis
Old 10-28-2013, 10:14 PM   #1
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Elbow Bursitis

Has anyone here ever had elbow bursitis and if so, did you do anything about it? I had a bump appear on my arm right below my elbow about 4 months ago. It slowly grew larger until it is about an inch or better in length. I assumed it was a cyst. It didn't hurt. Then about 2 weeks ago my elbow filled with fluid and has remained very puffy and mushy. It doesn't hurt to bend and has not affected my range of motion. It only hurts when I go to rest my elbow on a table/desk/arm of chair. It looks just like pictures of elbow bursitis that I've Googled, but they all talk about a lot of pain associated with it, which I don't have. Since it only hurts when I rest it on something, I really didn't want to waste time going to the doctor if she is only going to tell me to wait it out. So, I'm curious if anyone has had anything similar and what the end results were for you?

Thanks
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:31 AM   #2
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I had that, but it was more acute than the chronic symptoms you are describing.

Mine was from simply leaning on my left elbow too much at the desk. I could feel it getting sore over time but I was really shocked when it suddenly swelled up.

I went to the doctor and I had googled everything and explained to them what it was. They seemed less convinced, brought in a second doctor to have a look, but in the end, it was exactly what I said, elbow bursitis, caused by leaning on my desk.

They drained it with a needle right then and there. They tested the fluid to make sure no infection and called me with the results (no infection).

It never came back. I stopped the behavior that had caused it. I can't remember if the soreness went away right away, but I think it did.

You may want to go get it drained at the doc. And then stop any behavior that caused it.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMolly View Post
Has anyone here ever had elbow bursitis and if so, did you do anything about it? I had a bump appear on my arm right below my elbow about 4 months ago. It slowly grew larger until it is about an inch or better in length. I assumed it was a cyst. It didn't hurt. Then about 2 weeks ago my elbow filled with fluid and has remained very puffy and mushy. It doesn't hurt to bend and has not affected my range of motion. It only hurts when I go to rest my elbow on a table/desk/arm of chair. It looks just like pictures of elbow bursitis that I've Googled, but they all talk about a lot of pain associated with it, which I don't have. Since it only hurts when I rest it on something, I really didn't want to waste time going to the doctor if she is only going to tell me to wait it out. So, I'm curious if anyone has had anything similar and what the end results were for you?

Thanks
I'm not sure if it is the same, but I had tennis elbow right after moving here from Baton Rouge in 1999 due to lifting so many boxes. My doctor diagnosed it. It was very, very painful and I couldn't do much of anything. I don't recall doing anything for it, other than ice packs and resting my elbow, and it went away (I think in about 2-3 months IIRC?).

I haven't had anything at all like what you are describing, but if I did I'd go to the doctor to make sure that it wasn't something scarier.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:39 AM   #4
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I would add, I think mine only hurt when I rested on it, just like yours. Not when I moved it. I can't remember for sure.

Also, do you now what caused it? Once I put everything together, the cause was obvious (resting on it a lot on the particular desk I had at the time). Then I recalled the soreness that I had had sometimes (absent swelling)
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:52 AM   #5
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Do some homework on: "Olecranon" ... and don't stop at the first page.

This can be a relatively simple problem of leaking synovial fluids, that will heal itself, but can be more serious in the rarer case of infection. It is pretty scary, and looks kind of freaky, but normally... eventually goes away.

When it happened to me, (no injury that I can remember... just appeared) the swelling was about 1 1/2 inches and painful to touch. I went to the emergency room, and the Dr. took a fluid sample for analysis. Was ok. Took about two to three months to get back to normal, and I still have some sensitivity at the tip of the elbow, two years later. Didn't wear a compression bandage, or take any medication for the problem.

If you go to a website with expanded pics of the bones and muscles, and that also show the nerves, you can see the possibilities that could happen with infection or with further aggravation.
Am in no way a Doctor... so just a recounting of personal experience.

Good luck for a quick recovery.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:31 AM   #6
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Thanks all for the input thus far.

I'm pretty sure it's not tennis elbow since I had that 11 years ago in my other elbow. I developed it after painting the exterior of our house. It was horribly painful and that arm ended up becoming disabled and I was unable to use if for anything. It's a type of tendinitis and I ended up needing surgery after shots, therapy, braces, etc did not work. The surgery completely cured the problem.

I have no doubt (after reading on the internet) that I developed this due to resting my elbow on hard surfaces such as counter, desk, etc. I guess I need to learn another way to sit when on the computer

I'm not real sure why I have the cyst as well as the elbow swelling. Can't quite figure out the connection. I once had a ganglion cyst appear on my wrist and then developed carpal tunnel soon after which also required surgery. This was about 32 years ago. They removed the ganglion cyst and did the carpal tunnel release at the same time.

At this point, I think I am going to wait it out since it only hurts when I forget and rest my elbow on a hard surface. I have two trips coming up over the next 3 weeks and don't really have the time to go to the doctor (also dealing with having just put my mom in a nursing home last week and still working out all the details/meetings with doctors, etc on that).

Thanks to all who responded.

Have a good day
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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To add one more site... about Bursectomy...
Bursitis surgical treatment - Bursectory
My doctor advised to avoid this if possible, because of the risk that the bursa may not reform. Glad I listened, but seems to be a solution if the swelling does not go away.

Hope the situation with mom works out ok...
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