Patient : A week ago i fell on the sidewalk and landed directly on my elbow. i got it x-rayed and nothing is broken. the first few days after the injury it hurt to move the elbow and it was slightly swollen. the problem i'm having now is that whenever i even barely lean on my elbow there is an extremely sharp pain that shoots through my elbow. it feels like someone is thrusting a knife into my elbow. what could be going on?
According to your description, this is most likely an inflammation (neuritis) of the Ulnar nerve caused by the previousous trauma, and because of its superficial position at the elbow, you feel that sharp pain shooting through your arm when leaning on the elbow maybe during work, sleeping or while driving a car. The suggested conservative treatment consist of: postural education (i.e.: avoid resting on elbows at work, using elbows to lift the body from bed, and resting elbows on car windows while driving), using an anterior elbow extension splinting (if necessary), and correction of ergonomics at work. Anti-inflammatory medications also are useful to relieve nerve irritation. Oral vitamin B-6 supplements may be helpful. This treatment should be done out for 6-12 weeks, this is in average the time that the nerve needs to recover.
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