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Swelling in elbows, painful shoulder. On pain medication. Help?

Hi my son fell backwards onto his arm three days ago . He has swelling around the elbow and initially was hardly using it. We went to ER & xray showed nothing obvious. He is using his arm but it is causing him pain and he is having regular pain medication. His arm lots worse and he can not straighten his arm and can not touch his shoulder with his finger tips (doesn t get anywhere near) he sayes it locks and its painful.
Asked On : Tue, 26 Feb 2013
Answers:  2 Views:  41
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi, Thanks for using HCM.

Swelling after fall suggests dislocation of the bone at elbow or fracture or sprain.
Since your son tells locking and severe pain and restricted movements, this may be dislocation and needs to be fixed if dislocated as early as possible to reduce pain and any further complication. I advice you to consult your doctor to reduce it if dislocation. Need not to worry and it will take less than 10 min if no other complication.

For sprain, give rest for 5-7 days, take NSAID like Ibuprofen 400mg with serratiopeptidase for 3 days. Give hot compression.

Hope I answered your question. Consult your doctor for further examination and management. Feel free to ask me if you have any further queries.
Wish you good health. Take care.

Answered: Sat, 7 Sep 2013
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad's  Response
Jul 2013
Hi, thanks for writing to HCM.

Your son might have suffered a soft tissue contusion due to the blunt injury which will generally resolve within a week or two. An xray of the injured arm and shoulder is necessary to ruleout any bony injury, if its inconclusive an MRI scan is necessary to diagnose a soft tissue pathology.

The general treatment guidelines of a soft tissue contusion are as follows -

* REST - It is important to rest the injured part and allow some time to heal
* ICE PACKING - Apply ice to the injured area in the acute phase (first 48 hours after injury), and then after activities. Ice will help calm the inflammatory response and stimulate blood flow to the area.
* STRETCHING - Gentle stretching is helpful, but it should not be painful.
* MOIST HEAT APPLICATION - Before activities, gentle heating can help loosen the muscle. Apply a heat pack to the groin prior to stretching or exercising. As a general rule of thumb, remember to heat before an activity and ice afterwards
* ANTIINFLAMMATORY MEDICATION - Oral anti-inflammatory medications (such as Ibuprofen, Aleve, or Motrin) can help relieve symptoms of pain and also calm the inflammation.

If your son's symptoms are not improving with the above measures, approach an orthopedic surgeon for further management.

Hope this information is helpful. Good day
Answered: Sat, 7 Sep 2013
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