164 Physicians Online


Post-Traumatic Elbow Pain After Fall

Dear Ask The Doctor:
This morning I fell on ice while walking my dog. I landed squarely on my ulna jamming my shoulder upwards. The pain is centered in my elbow. The pain has gone away when I touch it but it still hurts when I leave it in one position for too long. Sometimes the pain moves all the way down my arm to my hand. The pain was enough to make me cry until I took Advil. Should I go to the emergency room? Or give it a while to see if the pain worsens?


If you can actively move your elbow: flexion and extension, and you do not have any remarkable swelling or deformity, then you do not need to go to the hospital but if this is not the case and on the contrary you develop significant swelling or deformity and you can not move actively the elbow, then you should go to the Emergency Room to be assessed by a physician and get X rays taken to rule out a fracture or dislocation.
The suggested strategy in the case that you can actively move the elbow and you have no significant swelling or deformity would be: you must apply 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, continue taking Advil 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, you will start applying on your elbow warm and wet compresses for periods of no more than 15 minutes each time, 2-3 times a day, also you can do series of active movements of flexion and extension of the elbow. You feel the pain moving down your arm because the nerve of the elbow might be involved in the traumatism and swelling.
The pain after the fall could persist for about 2 weeks but eventually will disappear.

Sign In to join in the conversation.

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

Related Answers:

I've been packing boxes around for the last week or so and 2 days ago, before bed, was having a sharp pain beneath my...

I am 23 years old, never really had a problem with my health, and gave birth to 2 healthy children. This month I got ...

Right hand swollen for 2 weeks after punching something after being angry. bruising still visible, very tender, hard,...

I am having severe pain in my upper legs when I stand up or sit down.. They also feel swollen but do not look swollen...

Severe pain in my hip. I have had it for about a week ow and its slowly getting worse and I am not sure if I should g...

I have a lump on the right side of my neck that sporadically swells up when I wake up in the morning. It has occurred...

My tailbone hurts from just sitting! I am used to sitting at a desk and have been doing so for many years but rece...

Worm like thing in urine...what is it? is it serious? i have pain on right side.

My wrist hurts. Not all of it. It feels like the connecting veins of my pinky & Ring finger is causing the pain. ...

(17) Hello, I recently had some concerns regarding my testicles. If I abstain from orgasm for more than 3 days and th...