Injury to elbow, not a fracture on xray, but so painful
I fell backwards onto the at whilst iceskating with a straight arm. The pain went down my entire forearm from my elbow to my wrist and i thought i had broken my wrist. After about half an hour the wrist pain had gone and it was now my elbow that was really painful. I couldn't sleep that night and went for xrays and to see an orthopod the next morning.
The xrays were all normal and he just told me to R.I.C.E and use a sling which i have done. Its now two days later and I still cant bend my arm to my shoulder, straighten my arm or if lying down lift it straight up. A long lump has appeared in the hollow of my elbow just above the radius bone and humerous. The pain seems to be all around the elbow joint and in the muscles both in my forearm and tricep areas. I am going to go for physio but any ideas what i could have done because its so sore.
Well, without a clinical evaluation it would be difficult to determine the cause of the pain. An x-ray can rule out fractures/ dislocations but is usually unable to recognize soft tissue injuries which may need to be evaluated for. It would be best to have this evaluated by a primary care physician or an orthopedician to consider soft tissue injuries and appropriate management. Meanwhile I would suggest continuing with the management plan as suggested.
Hope this helps.
Thank you for replying to my message.
After two weeks and complying with everything I was told my elbow was not getting better so I went back for another consult, I was sent for another xray which was still negative and told to continue with physio and use transact patches for pain, I had already gone through several bottles of NSAIDS, he said if it didn't get better he would give me a cortisone injection into the joint.
After spending the past four weeks looking at articles on the internet to try and find out what I had done, I thought that I needed an MRI, so I went back again to the Orthopedic surgeon who was now unsure what was going on as well so he then suggested an MRI much to my relief and this is the report.
"The primary pathology appears to be a fracture of the coronoid process of the olecranon with extension into the joint space with significant joint effusion.There is oedema at the level of the insertion of the brachialis tendon into the coranoid process and extensive bone bruising" No tricep injury or other pathology was noted.
The orthopedist phoned me to tell me the result and added that "I wasn't imagining it". He then said to go and see him in two/three weeks and I may have another xray and to just rest my elbow and that was it.
It is painful with certain movements and it has started to click if i rotate my arm, its very difficult to just "rest" your dominant arm. It still won't support its own weight on extension and I can't seem to tighten my tricep muscles. On flexion I cannot touch my shoulder with my hand.
I am in a bit of an awkward situation as my husband is a specialist surgeon and is fed up with me mentioning my elbow and the Orthopedic surgeon is a colleague of his. If I go back to him is it not just a waste of time to have another xray if the first two were negative, or would you recommend another visit.
Thanks again, Sue
I recently had a very bad fall and hurt my elbow, hand, arm, wrist, and even that side of the back and the other side. Immediately following the accident, I used ice pack, then hot water soak after the first 2-3 days, plus doing hot yoga. Two weeks have passed, it still hurts. After the first day of hot yoga, I was able to lift my arm, bend elbow and touch my heart :) I still have difficulty using it to wipe sweat off my face during yoga, but can do it, just very slowly :)
I'm going to go to my acupuncturist because they had helped me recover from wrist tendonitis some years ago after I had cortisone shot and physical therapy. I have not had X rays, but I think I don't have broken bones, otherwise I would not be able to move it around, right? Correct me if I'm wrong. It does have a range of motion, just comes with pain and it feels like a stone-hard lump right at the inner side of the elbow. It always feel the worst when I wake up the next morning, for some reason. Other than that, during the day after I move around and work a lot, it feels fine or not as painful.
I would suggest acupuncture. I'm going to try it. Give it some time to rest and recover, probably!
I eventually had an arthroscopy on my elbow 7months after the injury. The findings were as follows.
Inflammatory synovitis of the lateral and medial epicondyles, 10x5mm loose cartilage body, grade 2 chondramalacia of the radial head with surrounding synovitis.
I still have the crepitus and now I am getting pins and kneedles along the course of the ulna nerve which at night makes part of my hand go,dead and when I try to unbend my arm it is extremely painful. I had a nerve conduction study last week which shows "a small problem" but I am also waiting for an ultrasound before my consultant sees me again.
I don't think acupuncture would really help and I think if you have continuing problems with your arm insist on further investigations.
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