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Elbow Contusion

An elbow contusion or bruising of the elbow is a minor injury that occurs due to a fall on the elbow. While an elbow contusion may lead to temporary pain, swelling and difficulty moving your arm, usually it is an injury that resolves quickly.

Elbow Contusion Hero Image 2

An elbow contusion or bruising of the elbow is a minor injury that occurs due to a fall on the elbow. While an elbow contusion may lead to temporary pain, swelling and difficulty moving your arm, usually it is an injury that resolves quickly.

What causes Elbow Contusion?

An elbow contusion usually results from a fall on the elbow. Elbow contusions are common in these sports:

• Rugby
• Football
• Soccer
• Lacrosse

Symptoms

If you have an elbow contusion you may have these symptoms:

• Pain around the elbow
• Bruising around the elbow
• Swelling around the elbow

When to see a doctor

Although an elbow contusion does not require medical treatment you may want to see a physician to make sure you do not have a more serious injury. Your doctor will ask you about your injury, examine your elbow and he/she make take x-rays or an MRI to rule out more serious injuries.

Non-operative treatment

Elbow contusions are always treated non-operatively. Conservative treatments include:

• Rest, including taking a break from play and avoiding heavy lifting
• Icing your shoulder (every one to two hours for 20 minutes)
• Over-the-counter pain medication, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, if needed

You can also try these exercises at home to stretch your shoulder and maintain your range of motion:

Recovery

After an elbow contusion, you may be able to restart normal activities after just a few days, though more severe contusions may require several weeks of resting your elbow. You should start stretching exercises within a few days of your injury to avoid developing stiffness in your elbow . You can return to play once you’ve regained your full range of motion and strength in the elbow.

Sources

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