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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Have sore, soft, squishy and bruised elbow.Haven't fallen. What could have caused this?

Answered by
Dr. Hema Yadav

Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 1528 Questions

Posted on Thu, 31 Jan 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: Hello? I have a sore elbow, it's soft, squishy, and bruised. I haven't fallen so what could have caused this?

I haven't fallen or anything. Had a broken thumb a couple months ago.
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
A soft sore elbow can be caused by inflammation of the muscle ends ( tendinitis ) or bursitis ( inflamed bursae ) surrounding elbow apart from injury or abscess. There is no history of trauma or infection so those are not likely to be the cause. Considering your description it does seem to be a case of bursitis .Bursae is a fluid-filled sac and is present near the joints. It acts as a cushion in between the bones and tendons. In bursitis, the bursa swells up and is filled up with an excess amount of fluid which leads to swollen elbow. Repetitive movements /Overuse of joint are the main cause behind bursitis.
When the elbow is swollen, the first thing to be done is to give proper rest to the affected hand. This will ease off the pressure from the joint and swelling may go down without any treatment.
Application of ice can have a soothing effect. Wrap the ice cubes in a pack and place it over the inflamed area for 15 minutes. Then take a break and reapply it after an hour or so. Repeat the application a number of times throughout the day.
Anti-inflammatory medicines are usually prescribed to relieve the annoying symptoms.
When there is an excessive accumulation of fluid due to bursitis, your doctor may need to drain the fluid out using a needle.
If the inflammation refuses to subside despite all efforts, then doctors may opt for surgery. During the surgery, either the affected bursa or the damaged tissues are removed in order to reduce the swelling and improve joint mobility.
Do not massage the swollen part of an elbow. This is because the pressure exerted during a massage can cause harm to the adjoining tissues and lead to more damage .Even after the swelling subsides, you should avoid leaning on your elbows, as any extra weight or force can lead to swelling.

As of now since there is evident swelling , bruising and pain I would advise you to consult your orthopedist for confirming the diagnosis and starting appropriate treatment .
Hope I have answered your query.
Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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