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Have popping in right elbow. No pain. Suggestion?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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I have developed a popping in my right elbow. It doesn't hurt, but have to pop it in order to extend it completely. Happens many times during the day, but doesn't hurt.
Posted Mon, 5 Aug 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 38 minutes later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

A popping sound when trying to extend the elbow may be due to different causes: (1)arthritis- this can also cause loose bodies or small breaks of bones that can cause popping
(2) trauma to the elbow
(3) plica
(4) osteochondritis dissecans
(5) torn or displaced tendon or ligament . Ligaments connect the joints and tendons are at the end of the muscles
(6) dislocated elbow

Arthritis, trauma, dislocated elbow and plica would normally be associated with pain and possibly swelling . Plica is inflammation of the synovial lining of the joints at the elbow.

It is possible to have mild arthritis with minimal symptoms but with a small loose body secondary to arthritis which would be causing the symptoms.
These loose bodies would become wedged in the joint when you are trying to extend.

It is possible that the symptoms are related to displaced or torn ligaments or tendons.
In some persons these structures can become stuck or not move in a coordinated fashion when the elbow extends.

YOu can consider visiting you doctor for an examination. He or she may suggest an xray of the joint.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have popping in right elbow. No pain. Suggestion? 42 minutes later
Thank you for the information. I'll discuss this with my physician when I see him next. Thank you for your time!
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 5 hours later

You are welcome, feel free to contact with any additional queries
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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