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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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What causes red swollen area on elbow?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 3092 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 12 Dec 2015 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: My husband has a red swollen area right on his elbow, it is warm to the touch and sore and painful when he extends his arm. He did not injure it. Just sort of one day it started hurting like 5 days ago.
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Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Inflammation, exclude an infection. See primary care doctor for evaluation

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for the query,

The presentation is classical for an inflammation. The fact that there is no notion of trauma makes it imperative for us to exclude the possibility of an infection.

This can be done easily by taking his body temperature to see if it is raised, doing a complete blood count to check for raised white blood cells and measuring C reactive protein levels in the hospital. Your doctor or primary care physician might also do a micro needle aspiration to see if there is any pus in the painful area. In case these turn out negative, anti inflammatory drugs both oral and locally applied should be sufficient. In case of an infection, appropriate antibiotics with anti inflammatory agents should be enough.

Simple analgesics now to ease the pain should be ok for now as he plans to see soonest his primary care doctor or the emergency care service of a nearby hospital.

Thanks and kind regards as I wish you the best of health.

Dr Bain
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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