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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can an elbow impact from another player during basketball cause soreness and pain in the bicep muscle?

Answered by
Dr. Suresh Heijebu

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2010

Answered : 3580 Questions

Posted on Thu, 30 Aug 2018 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: My son is 17 y/o, 6' 4", 195 lbs and plays high school basketball at a high level.
He can bench press 250 lbs and curl 40-50 lbs single arm. (basically, he's in very good shape and not sedentary).
He noticed Tuesday he had a sore area on top inner side of left mid bicep about 4 inches up arm from the antecubital vein (up meaning toward shoulder from elbow, not toward hand).
basically, its on the top bicep just below mid muscle.
His last weighted workout was with medicine balls 2 days prior and was very light weight with a XXXXXXX weight of 12 lbs and he was using using both arms and completed 5 reps per set with 4 sets.
Next day no soreness except in lower body(legs, calves, glutes).
He has no bruising or redness in his bicep but the muscle may have a very slight quarter sized raised area. I may be seeing something that isn't actually there as others have said they can't see any difference between both arms. So, if its there its subtle.
He says if feels sore to touch and stiff. Pain is between a 2-3 on pain scale but not without movment or rubbing it. For some perspective, he said he thought a stomach bug was a 6-7 on pain scale.
He didn't relay the info of the soreness and worked out tuesday and wednesday at school.
He can do push ups, wide grip pull ups and 30 lb dumbell curl with no pain.
He also says as he uses it, it losens up and is less sore and stiff.
We are thinking he took an elbow impact from another player to the bicep during game play when fighting for the ball.
Does this sound consitent with that type of hit?
He is in playoffs and is asking what can he do to assist recovery.

Answered by Dr. Suresh Heijebu 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Possible minor traumatic contusion

Detailed Answer:

I can certainly understand your concern and have worked through your attached query in detail

As per your description of symptoms with regards to your son, the possibility of minor traumatic contusion is very high. This will gradually subside in the due course.

Nothing alarming as of now.

This could be due to elbow impact from another player as well during the game.

As of now, nothing to worry much.

In case of unbearable pain, it's advisable to consider a short course of oral analgesics after discussing with your physician.

Post your further queries if any
Thank you
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. Suresh Heijebu 1 hour later
thank you. The concerning thing for us was that there was no bruising or anything. I've since read that minor bicep muscle contusions often don't reveal bruising because its not superficial like a skin injury. We wanted to be sure.
Answered by Dr. Suresh Heijebu 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
MRI can clear your doubts if required

Detailed Answer:

Bruising may be absent if that impact is deeper or mild.

The main aspect is the clinical improvement.

As he is on a recovery scale, there is nothing much to worry.

In case if you are still concerned, you have the option of taking an MRI SCAN which has all the potential to pick up the level and severity of the traumatic contusion in question.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care,
Dr. Suresh Heijebu

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng

The User accepted the expert's answer

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