Hi,I am 23 years old. I started using drugs and had many difficulties with breaking drug habits in my youth. I went up and down. In 2010 (March - September) I was heavily using drugs (Ice, meth, etc...) as a smoker and IV user. Since September 2010 I have not used drugs, and am doing really, really well in my life. My problem now is, that since September 2010 (and while I was using drugs) I am getting sharp pains in my elbow pit (where I was injecting the drugs). These pains really do hurt and can last for days. It is evident in both arms. I am getting really worried. The pains seem to be coming more frequently, staying for longer, and are more severe. I have only told one person about these pains, people tend to look at you differently when they know that you are an ex-iv drug user. Please, please, please help me!K
Person's Gender: Female
Person's Age: 23
When I was taking drugs I didn't share needles etc... I do have a tiny black dot where a big vein used to be. I can't see the vein anymore. That is on my left arm, but the problem is in both arms. (I used both arms to inject into). I haven't seen anyone or spoken to anyone about it because I am very embarrassed. I have done a 360 with my life, and am otherwise, happy, healthy and drugfree. In my current position I don't like to tell people about my past, especially about the IV use part.
HelloWhat makes this pain worse or better?
Nothing really, it just aches and aches. I can't make it go away, it just comes on and then in a day or sometimes two or three (it's getting to this stage now) it goes away by itself. (I don't notice it after excersize or anything).
Unfortuantely it's becoming more frequent and for longer periods.
OKIs there any swelling?
No there is no swelling, redness or abrasions etc...
They just look normal but they ache. Although there is the issue about the tiny black dot on my left elbow pit, which has taken over the vein. Unfortunately, this happened after using drugs on one occasion, I have no idea what it means though, and I'm not sure if that is relevant as both arms can ache, sometimes at the same time or sometimes one at a time.
OKHow deep does the aching go?
Probably 1/3rd in of from the elbow pit, approximately 2-4cm. Hope that makes sense.
OKI don't think this is related to injecting into your veins.Could it be scar tissue..maybeArthritis is a possibility..usually would not come and go and would hurt with movement....or but...it could come and go like this in the earliest stages.Tendinitis possible.So what I would do is ask the doc for an MRIThis would show ligament, tendon, joint and nerve....x ray will not.This might simply be a matter of physical therapy needed, but MRI will rule out scarring, blood clots [no swelling..not likely] nerve damage, etc.
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Hi Dr Thomas,
Just want to clarify some points:
1. Scar Tissue: My elbow pits don't look as if they have any scar tissue. Could this be a result of missing veins, or the chemicals which are used it the drugs? This only started happening in 2010 while I was frequently injecting drugs, at least once a day.
2. Arthritis: It is definitely not the bone that is hurting, or elbow joint which is hurting. It is the inner arm. - Also no family history.
3. Tendinitis: There is no pain on the outer part of the elbow or any tenderness over the lateral epicondyle. There is also not any significant increase in pain with movement if the pain is not already there. There was no physical activity being done at the time of the onset. (March2010 - Sept2010).
I will get an MRI. Unfortunately, they are very expensive, and it is Saturday, so I will have to wait until next week when i'm not at university.
Could a trapped air-bubble or collection of small air-bubbles result in this pain. Also, in your opinion what is the probability of this issue being serious, and what would you say it is. I understand that I will have to see my GP, and possibly some other specialists and get the relevant diagnostic tests.
But it is definitely not the bone that is affected or the elbow joints etc. I am not certain, as my specialty lies way outside of the medical field, but I think it could be muscle, veins, or tissue.
Sorry for the long question, really appreciate your help.
No trapped air bubbles would have dissolved or done damage a long time ago not now.It does not sound serious.Scarring internally not externally.So connective tissue...there are also tendons, and ligaments here too.
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