Painful elbow bursitis after trauma/fall

Posted , 2 users are following.

Hi. I took a fall about 6 weeks ago after passing out (felt too hot I think) and landed on my right elbow which took the impact of hitting a tiled floor. My wife who was with me at the time said it was full force and sounded like my elbow cracked, but I didn't feel anything until I came around. There was a small but deep cut on the bony part of the elbow but that was all, and some immediate soreness / swelling. A few days later the swelling got worse, red, hot and painful so I attended a minor injuries unit and was given an x-ray and a weeks supply of antibiotics. There was no break and the cut had almost healed. However, a large soft lump had appeared and I was told it was 'bursitis' as a result of trauma. The pain, swelling and soreness continued after the course of penicillin ended, so I saw my local GP and was prescribed a further two lots of antibiotics, again for seven days. Again, no improvement and the lump continued to be inflamed, painful and sore after finishing the antibiotics so I went back to see the GP. My doctor drained the lump last week at the clinic and there was no sign of infection as the fluid was just blood, about 10ml. He compressed the elbow and said to remove the bandage after 24 hours, but the lump had re-filled with fluid and is now as it was, before being drained. I've also now got pins and needles in my hand and fingers, and a strange numb sensation in my hand too.

Has anyone else had something similar who could give some advice please? I've not been able to sleep in the evenings and the pain can be quite difficult to manage (been taking ibuprofen) and I'm conscious of inadvertently knocking the joint as it's very painful to touch and put pressure on. I'm a 45 year old male and in otherwise good health !

Thanks for reading.

0 likes, 4 replies

4 Replies

  • Posted

    this is quite common. persistent olecranon bursitis. things to make sure - your triceps tendon hasnt detached itself and this has been missed (check no gap above the bony bit and do you have strong elbow extension). an xray should have been done to check whether olecranon spur, fracture etc.

    if carries on can have bursa surgically excised which can be done awake or asleep. flucloxacillin is best antibiotic if more infections.

    im in leeds if local


    sam Vollans

    elbow surgeon

    • Posted

      Hi Sam; thanks very much for getting back.

      I've got full movement in the elbow; it just hurts in the elbow when arm is fully extended. I don't feel a gap in the bony part.

      Flucloxacillin was the first lot of meds I had then some Co-Amoxiclav.

      Do I get a GP app for it to be drained again and mention the sensations or leave it clear up itself?

      Thanks again

    • Posted

      i wouldnt keep getting it drained. settle infection and then if it keeps coming and going and is sore, consider having it excised / cut out. its a sack with fluid/blood in it

    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice; its appreciated and put my mind at rest.

      I'm hoping it will settle and I'll make an appointment over the next few weeks if its still as painful & sore.


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