Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)?

Ok. So I go the doctor and he says, I think you have lateral epicondylitis. He figures this out by bending and twisting my arms a few times until I would cringe in pain. I explain it "hurts severely if I bump it." He gives me a shot of Cortisone and says that should help, come back in a few weeks if it still hurts bad.

Well it did, the cortisone did squat. I went back and the next doctor says the same thing. Ice it, take Advil wait a few months, it’ll get better.

WTH? Just chill and wait? Still hurts, and its not getting better at all.

So anyways, I bent my arm and looked closely at it today. There is a lump on my elbow the size of pea exactly where the pain is emanating from. Touching it causes severe pain. I look and see no other spot on my other elbow like this. It’s smooth.

Anyone had a similar like pain and this lump? Is this lump a normal part of lateral epicondylitis?

The lump does not seem like a pus filled cyst. It feels fairly solid and stationary. It almost feels like it may be part of some torn or delaminating tendon or cartilage. The pain is severe when it’s touched firmly. On a side note I have a very strong tolerance to pain, which is another reason this worries me.

I will be going back the doctor in about a week, but just wanted to see if anyone had had a similar like experience with this lump.

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  1. mikeysco, 19 February, 2010


    Been there, done that. Got the surgery to prove it. Twice.

    Can’t address the bump, but can really recommend the link below:

    Good place to get a learn-on.

    Can also tell you that I dealt with this for many years and many cortisone shots in both elbows. Since they will generally only give you the shots 3 – 4 times, you’re talking surgery to fix it after that. The good news is the surgery is a 100% fix in my experience – both elbows are as good as new and have remained that way for the ten years or so since I’ve had the work down.

    One other bit of good news: the surgery (called an "epicondylectomy") removes your "funny bone"…you’ll never deal with that annoying feeling you get from bumping it again 🙂

    I suspect the bump is evidence of the inflammation you’re experiencing but like I said, I don’t remember ever having it. Good luck with this and if they’ll do it, go for the surgery. It really works.

    And it’s important to remember that in our line of work, this condition is almost certainly worker’s comp. I put in for both of mine as worker’s comp and nobody blinked an eye.

    You wanna talk more, don’t try the email link on my profile here…I don’t think it works. The address is mikeysco(at)yahoo(dot)com.

    Good luck with it!

  2. jackie_jabar, 19 February, 2010

    I had the pain but no lump. I also got the Cortisone shot and it did not help the first time. I had to go back and get a second shot. I would see another doctor and get a second opinion in case you have a cyst.

  3. Dr. K, 19 February, 2010

    Consult with your doctor and ask for a referral to a physical therapist. You need physical therapy and rehabilitation.

  4. brandon r, 19 February, 2010

    You should get this treated right away. Your ulnar nerve runs through there and you don’t want it damaged.
    I would ask, did the bump come up suddenly or did it happen over some course of time? What color is it? Is it filled with a watery of mucosy fluid. Wouldn’t rule out a cyst if its not responding to the steroid.

  5. Jo C, 19 February, 2010

    Hi…sounds painful!
    I’ve had a similar problem, i was first diagnosed with this (but in my wrist). I went to the physio therapist for about 6 weeks, however it seemed to get worse as time progressed. I have a lump on the side of my wrist (little finger side), which was hard and rigid. Since this injury did not improve, my pysio thought that i may have torn the cartilage in my wrist, so i had an MRI on it. this showed that i did have cartilage damage, and i am about to have surgery on my wrist (next week).

    I dont know if this is what you have done, but it does sound similar, i am expereincing terrible pain, although i have a high pain threshold.

    I sustained this injury in april, and am still waiting to have it sorted out!

    I think that you should ask your doctor what the chances are that you may have sustained this injury (aparently it is quite rare)!

    The lump on my wrist has not gone down since april!

    I hope this helps!

  6. Lulu, 19 February, 2010

    use splint… TENS.. ice u ll be just fine
    stop the fucken cortison
    its just shit,,, make u better at first,, then it destroy ur cartlige
    dont ever take cortison unless its life saving

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