x
157 Physicians Online

Question:

Elbow Pain after a fall: What to Do?

Dear Ask The Doctor:
My husband is a skateboarder and he fell terribly on his right arm while it was extended. His elbow is totally swollen and he can't straighten his arm out completely. It just won't straighten out. Yesterday there was quite a bit of pain so we iced and heated for about 2 hours. The swelling went down last night but it's pretty bad again today. Should we keep icing it? Also is heat and ice good to do the first day?


Answer:

If your husband is capable of actively move his elbow: flexion and extension,  he does not have any remarkable deformity, and the swelling is improving then you do not need to go to the hospital but if this is not the case and on the contrary your husband’s elbow swelling worsens, also  there is significant deformity and limitation in the movements along with severe pain, then it is strongly recommended to go to the Emergency Room so your husband can be assessed by a physician and get X rays taken to rule out a fracture or dislocation, that might need other form or treatment.
The suggested strategy in the case that your husband can actively move the elbow and he has no significant swelling or deformity would be:  applying ice to the elbow 4 to 6 times during this first 24 hours for periods no more than 15 minutes each time to avoid swelling, and also ease the pain, take anti-inflammatory medication (i.e.: “Aleve”) every 8 hours for the first 3 days and then 1 or 2 times a day as needed. After the first 24 hours from the fall, start applying on the elbow warm and wet compresses for periods  no more than 15 minutes each time, 2-3 times a day, also he can do series of active movements of flexion and extension of the elbow. The pain after the fall could persist for about 2-4 weeks but eventually will disappear.


Have a Question? Ask The Doctor Here.

Sign In to join in the conversation.

Related Answers:

Lately, I have been having joint pain at ankle and hand, all on left side only. I also have had muscle pain in left a...

So about a month ago I believed I pulled an abdominal muscle shoveling. The pain was in my lower left side, it went a...

Hello Doctor, My name is Dylan and I'm almost 20 years old. For two weeks now I've been having some aching pain in m...

Hi, I was sick about a week ago and I was having and still am having brown mucus coming from my throat and just today...

Hello sir my mother lower lip moves sideways suddenly today..can u please tell me what the reason behind it..one eye ...

About a month ago I believe I pulled an abdominal muscle from shoveling on my left side. It lasted about a week and t...

Why do my legs and feet hurt? Why do I have pain from hips to feet? Why do I have a burning tingling feeling in feet?

I was cleaning my back yard and was taking down a vine when i got a splinter that went straight through my index fing...

I am having armpit and groin soreness (which also feels like a swelling/pinching type feeling, almost as if my skin i...

Good day For the last few weeks I have had pain, numbness and tingling & minor swelling in my wrists and hands...

You’re in good hands, meet ATD’s founding physicians.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • Board Certified GP
  • CMO ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Adjunct Professor at U Of T

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
  • Director ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Fellowship Training Atlanta, GA