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My swollen elbow

By Dr. Andrew Jones

Hello again and good morning fellow readers.

A few days ago I woke up with a swollen elbow.

Here’s what my elbow looked like:

PuffyElbow

Being a Veterinarian, I performed a little ‘self’ diagnostics… (don’t do this at home unless you are a stubborn middle aged man who likes to AVOID the ‘real’ Dr 🙂

Here’s a picture of what I found:

synovial_fluid

I fact I drained 3ml in total.

Looking under a microscope, it contains red blood cells, but little else- most consistent with…

Bursitis.

Here’s what ‘the experts’ suggest..

How is elbow bursitis treated?

* R.I.C.E.: This is a four-step treatment plan that you can follow. R est, I ce, C ompress and E levate your arm to decrease swelling and help your elbow heal.

o Rest: Resting your elbow as much as possible will decrease swelling and keep the bursitis from getting worse. When the pain decreases, begin normal, slow movements.

o Ice: Ice causes blood vessels to constrict (get small) which helps decrease inflammation (swelling, pain and redness). Put crushed ice in a plastic bag and cover it with a towel. Put this on your elbow for 15 to 20 minutes, three to four times each day. Do not sleep on the ice pack because you can get frostbite.

o Compress: Caregivers may wrap your arm with tape or an elastic bandage to keep your elbow from swelling. Loosen the elastic bandage if your fingers begin to tingle or turn blue.

o Elevate: Elevate (raise) your arm to help decrease swelling. Keep your elbow at a level above your heart by gently propping your arm on pillows.

* Medicine:

o Antibiotics: You may be given antibiotics to fight infection if needed. Take them as ordered until they are all gone, even if your elbow begins to feel better.

o Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine: This family of medicine is also called NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine may help decrease pain and inflammation (swelling). Some NSAIDs may also be used to decrease a high body temperature (fever). This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor’s order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.

o Steroids: You may be given shots of medicine called steroids to decrease inflammation. Caregivers may also give you local anesthesia. This medicine helps decrease bursitis pain. Because these shots decrease swelling and pain, you may feel like your elbow is healed and that you can return to heavy exercise. It is important not to exercise your elbow until your caregiver says it is OK. You could make the bursitis worse if you exercise your elbow too soon. Ask your caregiver what exercise you may do while your elbow bursitis heals.

* Physical therapy: A physical therapist can do treatments to help your elbows. Caregivers may use ultrasound to increase blood flow to the injured area. This may help bursitis heal faster. Exercises to make your elbow stronger and have better movement will be started after the bursitis has healed.

* Remove extra fluid from the bursa: Caregivers may use a needle to drain fluid from your elbow. Removing the extra fluid may help the bursitis heal faster. The fluid may be sent to a lab and checked for infection.

* Surgery: You may need surgery to remove the bursa or part of your elbow bone. Surgery is usually not needed unless the bursitis is very bad, and does not heal with other treatments.

If any one has similar experiences using Natural Options, I would love to know about them.

It would be much appreciated.

Jones Fam Pics 053

Dr Andrew

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Topics: Pet health | 48 Comments »

48 Responses to “My swollen elbow”


  1. liz Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 9:25 am

    My step dad had the same thing. It took a few drainings, and the things you listed but went away. Good luck with yours!

  2. C Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Research the sports enzymes.

  3. janet Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Traumeel – either tablets or injections, and rubbing some traumeel gel combined with lavender, colloidal silver, wintergreen and yarrow on the site. Works on my knee.

    Of course the RICE treatment can be done in conjuction with all this too.

    Then again you can of course also add positive thinking – and remember that all ill-health comes from dis-ease within, so look inward and boost you system, starting with a gentle detox and some immune boosters.

  4. Gaby Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 9:48 am

    DMSO 50% topically is the ticket. DMSO: Nature’s Healer by Dr. Morton Walker is an exc book on the subject. It is pretty amazing stuff, you ought to read about it and see the results for yourself. It deals with problematic inflammations, cataracts, herpes virus infections, bursitis, etc. The book also summarizes studies of DMSO in animals.

  5. Shannon Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Your elbow pic won’t download for some reason but going by what you wrote it could be an ant or spider bite. I had this happen to me before and I took antihistamine (Benadryl) for about a week I think. Note: (the swelling is very slow in going away). Think I also ended up taking aspirin as well. I was bitten by a a black carpenter ant (the elbow is fleshy as is under the eye, and cheeks (3 of their favorite spots). They bite to see if you are food. With the help of the antibiotic it will eventually go away.

    Are you sure the red blood cells aren’t yours? If it’s a bite it could be yours or some other member of your family if they also got bitten or perhaps the insect was on some pet you cared for today and the insect already bit someone before you.

    The clear liquid you drained could just be edema.
    Or whatever the ant or spider injected into you (a present of sorts). lol

    If you tend to put your elbow on the table it will aggravate it. Could take weeks to go away if you do nothing. Antihistamine worked for me.

    Good luck.

    Let me know what happens.

    Sincerely,
    Shannon

  6. Shannon Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:06 am

    2nd comment: Oops! On this page I now see your elbow. Yep. I’m going with the ant or spider for sure. See my 1st comment for possible solution.

    There should be a software button to press so we can edit our comments and I wouldn’t have had to write a 2nd comment page.

    Shannon

  7. Lauren Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Are you sure this is not gout? I don’t see that your elbow is red and “hot” looking which is consistent w/gout but it’s worth a check.
    Good Luck!

  8. barb rehler Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Dr Jones, My Dad had the same thing and he did nothing and it went away….took a long long time but his body healed itself.

  9. Pennie Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Hey, Andy!
    I love the family picture, tells me Dad will always be part of everything going on and that feels wonderful!

    Now on to yer elbow, be healed in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am laying my hands on this post for your healing.

    You might want to do what I have in the past, go to allaboutdance.com and order a long-sleeved leotard, get a couple of sizes so you have it snug but can use your arm. The massage and gentle pressure provided by the lycra reminds your bursa to relax and heal.

    Burts Bees makes a nice Resq Ointment, it doesn’t take much to encourage your lymphatic system to suck up the excess. Remember your body is using the bursitis to try to heal a torn bursa, don’t be rough with it, do be patient, don’t hate me for saying that! The Emu stuff is good too, apply as often as the elbow yells at you for some, you’ll develop a relationship soon. Don’t do heavy tight wraps, you need circulation!

    No heavy lifting (cleaned out Dad’s place, did you?), in the long run you need to stay in shape (I know, just shut up, Pennie!) with some light weight lifting as the elbow gets better. Soup cans are a good start when the elbow permits, always in your leotard for awhile.

    RICE is good for the first 24 hours, then you want a cozy heating pad and some blanket throws to snuggle it up around your elbow. Remember your body is supplying what is needed to heal the tear and the bucket brigade needs to get there, as do the “garbage trucks,” the lymphatic fluids that collect the trash and take it out for you.

    Drink lots of water, see what grapefruit juice does for you and if it’s helping (it will) you can go through one of those half-gallon jugs of it a day.

    In moderation, use your arm. No push-ups or missionary position for the time being.

    As for pain, remember caffeine is for muscle pain (a bursa doesn’t tear without muscle tears too, and bifurcation of muscle tissue makes more muscle fibers while hurting like heck for a day or two.

    Remember vitamin B complex, the one I sent you is UPC 78742 43575 at WM, Spring Valley natural B vitamin high potency complex, find it online if you can’t get to WM and eat them like candy, the neon urine is quite fun and harmless, they are completely nontoxic and best for any pain above the waist, great pain killer.

    Bananas in your smoothie will give you extra potassium you need right now. Chicken soup is a healing thing, have a bowl when you’re in pain–you’ll be surprised! Yogurt (I like Mountain High) will keep your immune system tuned, as will the 5,000-10,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day we talked about, and with that you need some calcium with magnesium and zinc. You will like l-Ornithine to promote healing, twice a day in whatever strength you can get, works great. Eat avocados daily too with some sort of vinegar in the dressing, cells are phospholipid and avocados are a good source of functional lipids. And you want a glass or two of red wine with dinner. Nothing stronger, OK? Do get cruciform veggies in your diet daily, a nice fresh cream of broccoli soup made in the blender, a little capsaicin in there, some cheese–have some.

    Try this and see the improvement. No lifting for six weeks, OK? If you MUST do steroids, a short course of prednisone, not more than 60 mg. at the top of the burst and taper, tapered very quickly, may be helpful. Your body makes 5 mg. a day, a bit more with a nasty injury may help.

    Put those boys to work–I know you still have dad’s “stuff” to deal with. Presumably you are right-handed? Making lists then would be their job too, don’t do much writing for awhile and do wear a wrist band if you must write. No sling if you can help it, no tenosynovitis band, just try the lycra and taking life easier. Darn, why do injuries have to come at a time we need to use our bodies most? Chances are you were angry and distracted and ignoring your body’s messages….

    All our best, Andy!

    You may be inclined to develop secondary problems, be sure to use the listerine or, as I prefer, Equate peppermint mouthwash–do that a couple of times a day.

    Elevate your head and shoulders a bit in bed, it helps you remember not to turn over and lie on that arm (ow!).

    Attend promptly to any bowel issues with senna or cascara, the latter is gentler. You will be getting rid of toxics from your immune system there and want them gone.

    If you know an acupressurist, go! Gentle massage / drainage of the affected lymph glands will speed healing too. Don’t forget FEET, see if your lady will give you an evening foot rub, tell her which pressure points feel best. You’ll be surprised what is connected to your elbow.

    Spend time with friends, human and furry, and laugh, play some scrabble or (can you believe I’ve forgotten how to spell it?) Yatse, just don’t do any phone counseling while you’re playing that one…. hehehe!!!

  10. Sharon Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I used a homeopathic remedy for about 3 weeks and it completely healed itself. It was a mixture, not a single remedy. Since I can’t tell you what it was, Traumeel would be a good choice. If it doesn’t have Rhus tox in it, I’d add that.

    Therapeutic magnets would be very helpful too.

    Cetyl meristoleate internally or as cream.

    Good quality aloe vera juice.

  11. earl richardson Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Looks just like mine from long ago.Gout!Have your uric acid levels checked.Most drs. & people think it olny happens in big toe.Wrong !I’ve had it in every joint in the body.But no more

  12. Karen Schooley Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Dr. Andrew,

    I am a retailer marketing some new revolutionary products. They are holographic chips that are non-transdermal, working much like acupuncture. There is one product that is used to help with discomfort and a new product that is used by athletes to increase vascular supply to a body region during activities. After reading your email, I contacted one of the medical advisors for our company and he stated you may be able to gain relief with a combination of chips. The energy and circulation chip should be able to help the body with moving the fluids from the elbow region and the pain relief product should help discomfort. You can order the products from my website above, or even better, if you have an address I can send you some samples to try.

    Best Regards,
    Karen

  13. Brandon Van Every Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I had bursitis once. An ACE bandage + twisting arm exertions were necessary to get it to heal. Basically compression + increased circulation. No medicines. Might have used cold at the beginning.

  14. Karen Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I suggest using Serrapeptase — great benefits for many things!…including your elbow:)
    “Serrapeptase digests non-living tissue, blood clots, cysts, and arterial plaque and inflammation in all forms.” You can check it out at http://www.serrapeptase.info/content.asp?page=Home
    It also can be used for pets.

  15. Mariamme Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 11:46 am

    My husband had the exact same thing a couple of years ago. Went to the ER because it was so scary looking! It popped up in a matter of hours! The docs there told him to take Motrin and to not put any pressure on it (like putting his elbows on the table!) It resolved itself completely in a few days, and he has never had it since. Good luck!

  16. Lorelei Whitney M.H., C.Hom Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Tennis Elbow???
    Etiology: it is mainly an “overuse” of the limbs; its name is derived from a frequent lesion in tennis, Overuse of the arm from sports or over work can cause this epicondylitis.
    Symptomatology: may include sharp electrical pain, very sensitive to pressure. The pain is present when shaking hands with someone, or when lifting a cup of coffe, or simply when/writing. The pain radiates in the forearm, mostly following the Large Intestine meridian in Acupuncture (Heart meridian in the interior tennis elbow). Local tenderness on the epicondyle.
    HOMEOPATHIC THERAPY: Ruta is the #1 remedy because of its affinity for the periosteum and ligaments, with pain consequential to repeated strain. If Ruta does not help, Bellis Perennis is a deeper acting remedy. Other remedies are Anacardium, Arnica, Agaricus, Aurum Met., Rhus Tox (Rhus. would be #2 choice!), Hypericum and Bryonia.

  17. Tanya Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I am a Care Provider when I am working, and I have also been an LPN in the past. I am not sure what is going on with your elbow. One thing I WOULD suggest is to NOT ever get a steroid injection if you can help it. Any time you get a steroid shot, it is just a temporary “bandaid” fix. All it does is destroy your bone tissue by taking the calcium out of your bones. That is what happened to my dad. He had Non- Hodgkins Lymphoma for 12 years and went in and out of four exacerbations and remissions before it finally got him. He had many rounds of chemo and had to take Prednisone to counteract the toxicity of some of the chemo drugs. His T-10 vertebrae finally collapsed and he had to deal with that.
    During dad’s illness, we tried Homeopathic treatments. We gave him all kinds of supplements and juiced for him.
    The only thing I could suggest top you right now is to try and keep your body on the alkaline side. You can take large doses of vitamin C and find out what foods and/or juices you can take to decrease inflammation and boost your own immune system. I would also go with the R.I.C.E. routine also, but if you are working everyday, that may be hard to do.
    I hope that things will begin to improve for you and that this thing with your elbow can be quickly resolved.
    Thanks for sharing, Dr. Andrew.
    Tanya

  18. Darlene Royce Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Dr Jones,
    I had those same symptoms in January of this year. I ended up at the emergency room within 3 days. The administered IV antibiotics, pushed fluids but, I hav type II diabetes and I had a temperature. They diagnosed as cellulitus
    I was on oral antibiotics for 2 months because I couldn’t take the chance of recurrance due to my diabetes. Mine looked just like yours at first. They did not aspirate mine but I can tell you that the antibiotic prescibed by my doctor Bactrim created more side effects and symptoms than the elbow. After 3 weeks on that drug I suffered fever, chills, extreme headaches, shoulder and neck pain, nausea and I stayed in bed for over a week before I researched the side effects of bactrim and found that I was not the only one who had those symptoms. Just goes to show that conventional pharma medicine can make you worse rather than better. If I had not feared possibly losing the arm because of my underlying condition, I would have opted to use a more natural cure.
    take care and hope you have a speedy recovery
    Darlene

  19. Jeanne Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I have to tell you the best ice pack ever is a bag of frozen peas. Re-freeze and re-use. It conforms wonderfully to any contours. Mark the bag so you don’t try to eat them later. Try some comfrey leaves, steeped in hot water about 5 minutes to soften under your compress. You can even use the hot liquid from comfrey in your compress as well. I wouldn’t rule out an insect or spider bite. Unless bursitis is a likely risk for yourself, i would look to environment first. Good luck and listen to your body when it says “take a break”.

  20. Betty Lou Kishler Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    You might try magnets. You can buy those bullet
    shaped ones, wrap them around your elbow. It
    might help. Magnets work for me, not everybody.

  21. affiliate 953765 Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I see there is a wound. Is that from where you took the fluid sample? I ask this because, like the last person’s response, I suspect a bite or maybe if there was a puncture, it got infected. With all that’s been happening in your life lately , you may have bumped it without realizing it(My condolences on your dad. It sounds like he was a wonderful person. My dad is battling Multiple Myeloma these days, amongst other things, including DRUG side effects!!!). If this is indeed an infection, I found, when I had an abscessed tooth, that a poultice of garlic worked wonders. I woke 1 morning to my cheek swollen so much I could see it (& not in the mirror). I placed the fresh cut surface of a garlic clove on my gum where the most swelling was & in less than 4 hrs it drew it down to a large lump that easily broke open. The infection drained & I could no longer see my cheek. I put another piece on overnight to ‘make sure’ & it caused a little rawness by morning, so maybe that was a little much, however, I now make sure I always have garlic around. Here’s the link where I found the info: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/tooth_abcess2.html#GARLIC. It concentrates on tooth abscesses, but I think if you moisten your elbow with a hot cloth 1st, you’ll get the same poultices results. Hopefully, that’s what your situation is & not Bursitis. Let’s get back to NATURE!!! All the best to you & yours.

    Laurie

  22. Diane Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Start taking HA. Hyloronic Acid. It will allow your joint to move more smoothly and reduce the inflamation so you won’t build up fluid in the first place. I am getting a knee replacement and it has helped me for the last 5 years on a surgically changed knee injured in my teens. I am 59 now.

  23. Tanya Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I agree with the comment that Jeanne made above, and that is to “Listen to your body” and to take a break if you need to. It is just good old common sense. You, yourself, have helped – and continue to help others with their beloved family members
    (animals). Extend that love and compassion for yourself, also. You really deserve it. YOU are worth it!
    The constant movement of your elbow, if it is irritated in the joint, will not help it heal any faster.
    Again, I wish you the very best!
    Tanya

  24. Robin Fuhrman Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I have an ankle that does that same thing once in a while. It usually settles down on it’s own, but if I stress it alot it comes back. There is a harder permanenet swelling there (ganglion cyst?) It doesn’t hurt, but doesn’t look normal. I guess it’s fluid from a bad joint. I’m not brave enough to drain it!

  25. Mark Boltniew D.C. Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    One possibility, heavy massage on posterior aspect of forearm; the side that muscles would contract on when placing wrist into extension, work the sore spots while moving the wrist into flexion and extension to break up adhesions and trigger points. The adhesed muscles and connective tissue will alter joint biomechanics putting a lot of pressure and irritation on the tendons over the bursae.

  26. Janice Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    If you were a horse it would be called a capped hock.

  27. Mary Mayhead (Aust) Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    If you are going to use an anti-inflammatory Trameel is the safest but for natural you cant go past poulticing.I use garlic which draws out toxins and as it inflammed bursa it should give relieve.Crush fresh , organic, garlic put on a piece of kitchen cloth with a bit of olive oil and the apply to your elbow and hold into place with plastic wrap and over the top a stretch bandage. If you dont add enough oil you may get slight blistering of the skin. Leave on overnight (your sheets will smell of garlic) and apply for a few days. Ginger is also good as a poultice.
    Both of these remedies have healed abscess’ in fighting cats.

  28. S Morris Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Overnight this happened? If it swelled up so fast, then I’m more inclined to think a ‘bite’ from a critter of some sort. Joint inflamation doesn’t happen overnight, unless ya banged it somethin’ awafully hard like into a wall during PMS like I do! haha.. Spider bites can be nasty.. my Mom had a similar symptom happen to her, on IV antibiotics for a couple weeks I think,, it eventually went away,, they didn’t figure it out,, but we all suspected a spider bite of some sort as she got that when at their trailer in Sundre area,, lots o’ spidies out there.. My girlfriend’s foot swelled up like this as well,, she was told spider bite,, had antibiotics by IV as well if I recall..

    On the higherminded side of things,, ANGER causes inflammation,, red angry inflammation.. but, my gut tells me spider bite..
    .. ?..

  29. S Morris Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    OR.. sorry,, hit the enter button too soon,, you got some dings on y’er elbow thar.. could it be you rubbed against something and got infection .. fungal flare ups can be nasty as well.. none the less ,, antibiotics or Golden seal is pretty darned strong,, tincture form stronger..
    I had a thought as well.. those pads you put on the bottoms of your feet to draw out toxins,, slap on of those babies on y’er elbow and see if it helps ?.. they stink tho.. chinese herbs in ’em,, but they DO draw out.. mustard pack.. Onion slice.. chinese linament called PO SUM ON,, comes in a metal tube holding a little brown bottle of the stuff,,may have to go to an herbal store,, Chinese herbal store.. I call that stuff meat tenderizer,, works amazing !..
    I would avoid too much,, what ever it is, you don’t want it circulating much farther..
    Good luck with this.. keep us all posted!..

  30. Rachel Peddle Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Dear Andrew, I am a medical herbalist and treat these conditions often. my advice is to take celery drops 10 drops x 4 daily plus stay off of any food that are acid forming. I can make you up a diet for this condition that will successfully help to solve the problem. I like your web site and the advice you give and thank you for this. Please contact me if you need further help.

  31. A Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Take Celadrin. Our 17 year old Golden is on it. So is our 8 year old Smooth Coated Border Collie. So am I, a retired long before a pension, Community nurse for the elderly. I take Celadrin for knee and back pain due to work related injuries. Weber has a decent one out. Take 8 caps which are 350 mg. as a therapy dose, then decrease to 4 per day. Stay on them as long as you have pain. Take Glucosime with Chrondition for the inflammation. Also try 1000 mg. of hemp oil which contains 3-6-7-9 Omegas plus GLA. You might want to check the Celadrin Web site, their first studies were done on dogs. Ours have a new life, that and our HOMEMADE not commercial DOG FOOD, which by the way is BALANCED!Good luck.

  32. Dagmar Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    It would be interesting to find out what caused it. Did you do any hard workout?
    First thing I would do is to stop any strenuous work until it is healed – no, don’t go and do all the hard work with the other arm, otherwise you will end up with the same on the other elbow as well 😉
    I saw that once on a concreter and believe it or not, I did just some Reiki on him and it went away! While I was doing the Reiki he told me he can feel a tingling sensation. Of course he kept on working, so he needed a few sessions, but eventually it went away.
    Maybe add some Arnica 30C?

    Dagmar

  33. Joy Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    You have received many very well intentioned suggestions and with your intuitive, inquisitive and innovative approach to health care I’m sure you will be on the mend very shortly. One therapy I would use if it were my elbow would be “Pain-A-Trate”, a topical cream obtained from a “Melaleuca” representative. I have found it to be very effective in promoting both pain relief and more rapid healing of tissue injury such as bruises and strains. The active ingredients include Camphor, Menthol, and Methyl Salicylates but the effectiveness is enhanced by the addition of Melaleuca (Tea Tree) oil which promotes penetration, while it has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. The following web site and phone number will help you identify a local representative. http://www.melaleuca.com 1-800-282-3000

  34. Charlene Robinson Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    The Ortho and PT folkks gave (ha ha) a neoprene sleeve to wear. Had some kind of aloe inside it. Maybe wearing one of the less constrictive types would help.

    At least you know it’s not “worm in the tail”!

  35. lee brewer Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 12:28 am

    dr. jones; when i saw the elbow i thought of some little varmit biting you, it really looks bad. hope it gets better real soon, looks like its very uncomfortable. love the pics and thanks again for sharing your dad with us. god bless you all lee brewer

  36. ladyfrog lynn Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 8:27 am

    dad, god bless him, at 90+ yrs had the exact same problem although he refused to use any of the steriod drugs~he did use ice compacts, consisting of a bag of frozen peas or corn and he also insisted on keeping it wrapped with an ace bandage, but just snug enough so as not to create pain or real tight pressure, went down completely in just a couple of weeks he contributed the problem to his old habit of elbows on the table, telling us children consistantly not to, well i do believe he was triing to show me the effects of what can happen lol hope this helps

  37. Debra Owen Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 9:44 am

    OMG – looks painful. GO to the doctor. Vets need human doctors too. I just wanted you to know that I watched your Dad’s video – you have a lovely family. I love how much your dad laughed. He really loved life – and I loved watching the video – he made me laugh. I know you must miss him very much. Mom as mild Alzheimers – but yesterday – both Mom and Dad talked about who they dated when they were younger – and she remembered their names, where they lived – and going to the movies. He had fallen before I got there – but was OK. I tell them that I am lucky to have them and that I love them all of the time. We had a good talk yesterday. Never know when you walk out the door if we will ever see each other again – here on earth. God bless you – and take care of that elbow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Radha Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    This guy, Dr. Wright is right up your alley!
    But for homo spaiens.
    He’s doing a bursitis study, among other things.
    (see top of home page)
    And I bet that you and he would have lots of insights for each other!
    Good luck!

    http://www.tahomaclinic.com/

    Best,
    Radha

  39. Radha Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    that was hoho sapiens ;o)

  40. Cindi Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Dr. Jonesas an ICU nurse I think you might be right about the diagnosis but you should get a biop on the fluid, to rule out any thing that might need an antibiotic, Watch for compartment syndrome and ice and heat. Please be careful I’ve seen “simple things” go bad fast. Sincerely Cindi

  41. Jessica Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Dr Jones:

    After RICE, it is important to try to pinpoint what was the inciting cause of this episode of bursitis. In many cases, there is gradual trauma to the olecranon bursa associated with repeated occupational movement; other times, there might have been a sudden abnormal movement or high impact motion repeated over a relatively short period of time (as in “Tennis Elbow”).

    Altering the motions which incited this injury in order to minimize repeated trauma will help you to avoid having this become a chronic problem, with proliferation of synovium, scarring, and eventual bone abnormalities.

    Conditioning your joints by moderate exercise and appropriate stretching will help to lessen the effects of any occasional joint abuse. See Mayoclinic.com/health/stretching for guidance.

  42. Ally Wynne Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    I’ve had bursitis or “Tennis elbow” in both elbows, also in both knees, and I never had any large swelling like you do. You did check for spider bites or other causes of infection? If you’re sure it’s bursitis, DMSO will help a lot, and so will Blue Emu cream, just be sure to not by the off-brand Blue Emu, get the real stuff. It’s amazing and works well for bursitis and also arthritis.

  43. Susie Says:
    April 24th, 2010 at 1:41 am

    It looks like olecranon bursitis. Usually RICE and NSAID’s are treament. Make sure to monitor for any sign of infection.

  44. Kay Ivey Says:
    April 29th, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Andrew:

    I haven’t taken the time to read through all the comments, but wanted to add just a thought, born from personal experience, that I had when reading about your elbow.

    Having just lost your dear father, I want to encourage you to consider, along with all the physical treatment, to not neglect the treatment of your soul and spirit. The grieving process that we all pass through when losing someone dear to us takes an untold toll on our physical bodies. We are usually unaware of this toll until extreme symptoms manifest….like your elbow. For myself, I nearly lost my life when five months after my father died my immune system attacked my platelets, destroying them to the point where I was minutes away from death before being rushed to the emergency room at 2 in the morning. A rogue antibody was to blame in my case (though for the first three days in the hospital, the doc thought I had leukemia). Sadly, my life went through a major health shift after that, and I still struggle with severe physical issues today. My own neglect of needing to grieve my father’s passing complicated my health, and healing process since.

    And while your swollen elbow has a “natural, physical” reason for swelling, in the process of your physical healing don’t neglect to give yourself time, space, and energy to grieve and heal emotionally and spiritually.

    You have suffered a tremendous loss….maybe your body is trying to send you a message to slow down some….and (as hard as this is to say) give yourself some time to just cry.

    Hang in there…and know that, though we may disagree on some issues, you are a blessing to one family here in Texas.
    k

  45. Dr Alison Grimston Says:
    May 2nd, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Hi Andrew, & thank you for all that you contribute to the integrated health debate, both animal & human!
    You guessed it – olecranon bursitis, caused probably by too much leaning on your elbow to write all those emails & blog posts, & all your books, not to mention while examining the animals…
    You’ve had plenty of suggestions, but I wouldn’t recommend aspiration as it will simply re-form. You only need antibiotics if it gets infected – local redness, heat & tenderness as you know – but if there is a resriction of the joint movement you need to see a doc pronto. Meanwhile I would recommend RICE with the minimum of NSAIDs necessary – you know what they do to dogs’ stomachs, humans the same.
    It’ll improve over a few weeks, & take the time you need to heal & grieve…
    All the best
    Alison

  46. wes Says:
    June 14th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    That is gout. If you look through the microscope you’ll find urate crystals in the fluid. Take allopurinol every day, and it will evenually go away forever. But, it might get worse before it gets better.

  47. Rom Says:
    September 6th, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Do NOT use DMSO,,,the deal with DMSO is, that is WORKS!!!, but, it also will attack the optical nerve, not so cool, but, joints will feel wonderful. So, that is a personal choice, if you are at “That” point of pain vs sight,,,there you go.

  48. Brenda Purnell Says:
    February 12th, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Hi, Mu husband had a swelling on his elbow the size of an egg, and vey painful, I put Arnica Ice on it on Saturday, today Sunday the 12th Feb, the swelling is going down but it feels like his arm is filling up with some sort of liquid above and below, can you please help, I have checked for a Spider bite but can’t see sign of a bite, he said it is still painful to touch, What can you please surgest I do for him, He was 73 Yesterday the 11th Feb and tomorrow we will be married for 52 years 13th Feb. Your faithfully Brenda Purnell

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