My elbow–what was wrong?

This happened a week or so ago. One day, my left elbow got sore and stiff. It got progressively worse quickly to where I couldn’t straighten my arm. It was like that a couple days.

On about the third day, I noticed swelling and bruising around my elbow. That lasted a day or two, and then went away. It’s completely back to normal now.

I’ve searched the ‘net and can’t find anything that causes all that–especially the bruising part. I didn’t hit my elbow on anything, fall or anything like that.

My job is pretty repetitive with arm motions, but I use my right arm more often than my left. I do have stiff, achey joints in other parts of my body at times. Could it be arthritis? That wouldn’t bruise, would it?

I welcome any and all guesses. 🙂 Thanks very much.

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  1. Dr. Patrick V. Suglia, 04 April, 2010

    You could have had a momentary bout of tendinitis which resolved on its own with some rest. Or, it could have been an infection or broken blood vessel that bled into the joint, and most infections and broken vessels resolve on their own too. If it happens again, I would try changing things, such as the way you type and your repetitive motions. If you have stiff joints anyway, then that’s a sure sign that you need to go to a chiropractor.

  2. Philipo, 04 April, 2010

    It may be a tendon issue, may be a bone issue. Maybe you hyperextended it and broke a small part of the bone without knowing. It would be something that a doc visit may be useful.

  3. Vortex, 04 April, 2010

    I would say from your symptoms you broke a blood vessel in your elbow. The infusion of blood caused swelling and stiffness until you could not bend it. This would account for the pain too.
    When you body reabsorbed the blood the bruising disappeared as did the stiffness. You may have just banged it wrong or the repetitious motion cause a bit of swelling and then pinched a vein. Arthritis or any other damage would not heal so quickly or go away completely.

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