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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, US Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10329
Experience:  Family Physician practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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golf ball size (or larger) lump on elbow. no pain, no symp

Resolved Question:

golf ball size (or larger) lump on elbow. no pain, no symptoms.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

Does the lump feel fluid filled? Is it over the back of the elbow?
Any history of injury to the elbow?
How long has it been present?

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
it is on the back of the elbow. It does feel somewhat like fluid. Kinda soft and moves around a little.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
sorry.....did you provide a 2nd response? computer went offline.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 4 years ago.
What you have is called olecranon bursitits, which is swelling of a fluid filled sac over the elbow.

If it was caused by an injury, the fluid may go away on its own. This can also occur if you rest on your elbows frequently.

It is not harmful for you to have the swelling, although it does have a risk of getting infected.

I would recommend taking an anti-inflammatory (such as ibuprofen or aleve) if you do not have any problems with this type of medication.
If you have had the swelling for two weeks or more, it may not get better on its own. Your doctor can take the fluid out and inject a steroid into the area to help prevent it from recurring.

Here is a very good explanation of olecranon bursitis if you would like to read more:

http://www.handuniversity.com/topics.asp?Topic_ID=3

If you have any other questions, let me know and I will be happy to answer them for you.

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
no resent injury. could it be due to torn legiments long long time ago?
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 4 years ago.
Usually, no.
It is the bursa (the fluid sac that helps the skin over the elbow and the joint itself move fluidly) that is inflamed/irritated.

The ligaments do not have anything to do with the bursa itself.

However, if you injured the bursa years ago when you tore the ligaments, you may have chronic thickening of the sac which can lead to bursitis. (I think this is less likely, but still possible)
If you do a lot of work with your arms and rest your arms on chairs, tables, etc, this is a much more common cause of olecranon bursitis than remote injury.

Dr Abby


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Dr. Abby, US Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10329
Experience: Family Physician practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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