Limited elbow extension for about six days

Patient

Q: I woke up the other day and my arm was really sore but I just took pain meds and ignored it. A few days later I tried to straighten my hair and realized I couldnt lift my arm up high enough while bent to reach my head. I havent been able to straighten my arm for about 6 days now. Someone mentioned the elbow being dislocated but I always thought that would be a lot more painful and obvious. Will this go away on its own?

Doctor

A:   In the view that you do not have a history of fall or other traumatism associated to the problem in your elbow, it is not likely that you are having a dislocation, anyways, the spontaneous nature of your symptoms warrant further investigation, meaning I suggest you getting an evaluation by your PCP including: physical exam, lab tests and imaging studies to determine the cause and accordingly select the best treatment option in your particular case.

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