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Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience:  36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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Hi Valarie, my husband has bursitis in his elbow. Hes on

Resolved Question:

Hi Valarie, my husband has bursitis in his elbow. He's on the computer all day and his elbow swells and his hand and arm fall asleep and continues long after his work day is over. He takes alive and rubs arnica on it but is seeking a more perminent solution to the discomfort, swelling and tingling. Your insight is appreciated.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Valarie replied 5 years ago.

Hello. Thank you for coming back to JustAnswer with your question, and welcome.


Sorry for the delay, I was away from the computer for awhile.


I am sorry to hear about your husband's elbow problem. Is he sure it is bursitis? Has he seen a doctor about it?


And can you tell me more about his elbow: where exactly is the swelling and where is the pain and numbness.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He saw a doctor for his elbow pain; they took an x-ray and found splinters of bone around the elbow. At that time it wasn't swollen. The swelling and tingling then started to happen and he went back and was told it was bersitus. He had one accupuncture session he said seemed to help. The numbness and tingling is in his hand, arm and shoulder. the swelling is on the elbow closer to the arm pit than the hand (upper elbow versus lower elbow).
Expert:  Valarie replied 5 years ago.
OK, if he has splinters of bone around his elbow, he must have sustained some type of injury. Does he know how this occurred, and when?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He has been doing jujitsu for years which is the only thing he can contribute the splinters to, but he hasn't been going since and the swelling and tingling started after he stopped.
Expert:  Valarie replied 5 years ago.

It sounds, from your description, like he has developed bursitis as a result of the injured bone. The swelling can put pressure on the nerves running around and through the elbow, which can cause numbness and tingling further down the arm.


Splinters, or chips of bone around the elbow is called "osteochondritis dissecans", and if you click on that it will take you to a link for more information about it.


The normal treatment for this is conservative at first---rest of the joint, application of ice periodically, anti-inflammatory medications, and some people are actually given a splint or sling to help rest the elbow.


It sounds like this type of treatment has not worked, unless he is not adequately resting the joint to allow healing. Sometimes the splinter(s) are too large to allow healing and have to be surgically removed.


It is possible to sustain this type of injury if the triceps muscle (back side of the upper arm) puts too much strain on the elbow where it attaches. He may have injured it during his jujitsu sessions and did not realize it at the time.


So, what he needs to do now, is see his doctor again to discuss the possible need to remove the chips or splinters that are probably causing the swelling (and so the pain and numbness). Keep in mind that conservative treatment will take some time for healing to take place. But if it has been 6 to 8 weeks without improvement (or it is worsening), he should definitely be talking to his doctor again.


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