Got a Medical Question? Ask a Doctor Online!
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=3If you have any other questions, let me know and I will be happy to answer them for you.Dr Abby
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