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Dr Basu
Dr Basu, Experienced Specialist
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Experience:  MD
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My husband as been experiencing more than normal/constant

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My husband as been experiencing more than normal/constant pain in his right elbow. The pain is on top of the joint bones in his elbow. It's also tender to the touch when pressed on it, more so when the arm is extended, little tender when not extended. He finds that when it's at rest for some time and when he goes to use it, it's sometimes on the stiff side. Upon awakening in the morning, it's stiff, basically when it's at rest, it stiffens up.
He is currently on blood pressure medicine and we are unsure if he can take motrin to help with some of the inflammation.
What should he do first? Go to regular dr to have them order an xray? If he went to an urgent care, do you think they would do an xray there?
What does it sound like to you? And where should we go from here?
mysticdoc :

The views expressed by me are for educational purposes only and do not establish a doctor patient relationship.

mysticdoc :

Hello,

mysticdoc :

Thanks for your question.

mysticdoc :

Since the joint movement is not affected, this is unlikely elbow joint problem.

Customer:

hi

mysticdoc :

But this can be tendinities or inflammation of the tendon attachment at the elbow

Customer:

it does hurt him when he uses it.

mysticdoc :

If there is no swelling, this is not bursitis either//

Customer:

especially his fine motor skills

mysticdoc :

ok

mysticdoc :

more likely tendinitis.

mysticdoc :

is it inner side of the elbow or outer side?

Customer:

on the outer side.

Customer:

top side if he is holding is arms out with palms facing each other.

mysticdoc :

ok then this is known as tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis.

mysticdoc :

Best is to avoid any wringing activities.

mysticdoc :

warm compress will help

mysticdoc :

ibuprofen ( motrin) can be taken if his blood pressure under control.

mysticdoc :

Should be seen by his doctor .

mysticdoc :

Xrays will rule out any bone problem.

mysticdoc :

But xray will not show tendinitis.

mysticdoc :

If the pain does not improve in a week, better to see an orthopedic surgeon for steroid injection.

mysticdoc :

Steroid injection at the site of pain relieves the symptoms.

Customer:

the pain has been ongoing for quite some time, this past month, it's slowly getting worse and worse.

mysticdoc :

Ok then it is time to see a orthopedic surgeon.

Customer:

what could happen if left untreated? (men, I'm sure you know how that is...:) )

mysticdoc :

can cause weakness and hand movement

mysticdoc :

should be addressed since going on for a month or so

mysticdoc :

motrin can be tried meanwhile

Customer:

he just started a new blood pressure medicine about a week or so ago to lower it...I guess just a little higher dosage...he has to be seen for a followup in about 2 months. Wasn't sure if he should see a dr prior to trying the motrin

mysticdoc :

In that case, it is better to avoid motrin.

mysticdoc :

tylenol is safe.

mysticdoc :

He can go to the emergency room for the steroid shot if possible.

Customer:

would they do a regular xray at the er or urgent care? or just refer to an orthopedic? The pain is not unbearable..it's just that he is talking about it, and for him to talk about it, I know it must hurt. He tolerates pain well. I asked on a scale of 1-10, he said pain is like 3 or 4. The pain is there, noticeable, affecting what he does with his arms, but manages to get by.

mysticdoc :

ok

mysticdoc :

in that case, he may wait and ask his doctor for orthopedic referral.

mysticdoc :

ER will do the xrays.

Customer:

ok.

mysticdoc :

Tylenol extra strength can be tried.

Customer:

ok. He's telling me, that the pain he feels is a sharp pain, not a dull pain.

mysticdoc :

ok

mysticdoc :

that is typically experienced with tendinitis.

mysticdoc :

Nerve inflammation at the site also can cause this.

mysticdoc :

steroid injection will help

Customer:

thanks so much for your help.

mysticdoc :

Happy holidays

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