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Thread: There is a tangerine growing on my elbow

  1. #1
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    There is a tangerine growing on my elbow

    I have a bursa sac on my left elbow and for quadriplegia, when I transferred from the chair to the bed I have to pull myself up with my left elbow. There is absolutely no other way to do it.

    It has been with me about a month and they don't want drain it because the risk of infection. However, this is really get in the way of my life.

    I've had four UTIs in a row because I can't get up on my left elbow to drink the water.

    Can't sit up without rolling back and forth on my elbows.

    I'm a dead duck in tall weeds how do I get these people to understand how much the quad needs his elbow, and I need a workaround until it goes away.

    This is about when the pain starts for the rest of the day until I wake up tomorrow morning and repeat. Can't get in to see the third Dr. because the damn hurricane.

    Saw a ortho guy in the hospital and my semi-rehab. Dr. two weeks ago. They just don't understand the quad living by himself.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    make you a pad of some sort to reduce/distribute the weight, as the kneepads do for those who use them. I'm thinking foam and ace bandages for starters.
    Anti-inflammatory- I use ginger root tea, as about my only drink, carry it everywhere I go. It's the best anti-inflammatory there is. I avoid pharmaceuticals.
    I had a golf ball sized one on my left elbow from sept of last year until about Jan of this year and I understand the pain, I'm a t4 and rely 100% on my elbows.
    It magically appeared overnight, I think it was caused by banging my elbow on the doorjamb exiting my car the night before. First time it has ever happened.
    Mine stayed red, hot to the touch and swollen for about a month and a half. Swelling lasted about three months, pain gradually diminished. First few months were heck though, as you well know.
    Pretty sure it was infected because of redness and heat but unless it had spread like cellulitis, I wasn't going to a doc.
    I utilize foods that have ant-inflammatory characteristics in my meals. I chew on chunks of ginger root when I get lazy and have went a day or so with no ginger root tea(I don't do that very often)
    Until you get rid of the inflammatory response and distribute the load a little better, it will not heal itself.
    I ALMOST resorted to sticking a sewing needle in mine, after reading about them extensively, I decided against that high risk.
    Try to pad around it and use the flats of your arms more IF you possibly can. Hope you get some relief!

  3. #3
    Would you be able to put on a elbow pad to avoid friction?. If so, search "Olecranon bursa pad" or "Olecranon Bursitis orthotic" for images and websites.

  4. #4
    Location location location. Elbow pads are really helpful to prevent trauma to the area on a regular basis.
    May be a good idea to talk to a PT about your transferring strategies to minimize the trauma to the left elbow

    pbr

  5. #5
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    http://www.orthoinfo.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00028
    SEZZZ heeeer... these aggravating necessities CAN be removed with a simple surgery AND will grow back within a few months...
    IF I had known this last time, I would have found me a doc who would have complied, since it was the same length of time awaiting healing on it's own WITH the additional months of tender/hit it and be thankful I had sci or I would have crapped myself
    I'm not one for docs, let alone surgery, but I will look further into this option as I am certain it will happen again. I bang my elbow often and sit there 'talking' the pain down for a minute these days.
    I may be inventing a suit of armor in the near future for us...

  6. #6
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Location location location. Elbow pads are really helpful to prevent trauma to the area on a regular basis.
    May be a good idea to talk to a PT about your transferring strategies to minimize the trauma to the left elbow

    pbr
    relying upon the armrests of my manual chair for the first 10 years or so caused me a lot of forearm/elbow soreness/pain, also the powerchair after I acquired one. I have been using manual chairs since then w/o armrests and trying hard not to support myself on elbows ever since then. I was never told about these very real dangers in the beginning. I was all consumed with uti's and pressure sores. Maybe we ought to make this ANOTHER commonly taught concern for new sci folks...
    Last edited by CapnGimp; 10-11-2016 at 12:32 PM. Reason: spElnnn...

  7. #7
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Moderator Christopher had an enlarged elbow .. like an alien. Even named it. Hopefully he chimes in.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  8. #8
    Don't know if this was the same thing, but many years ago I had a fairly sudden sac fill up at my elbow, with horrible pain. I was at work at the time and couldn't continue due to the severe pain. Went to family doctor who tried to drain it with limited success. Next day chatted with a doctor who was a consultant for our agency and was told to see a Sports Medicine doctor. I guess they are used to "tennis elbow" type issues. Got an appointment for the next day. The doc drained it, then injected some replacement fluid of some sort.
    Never had another problem and pain was totally resolved.
    Hope you can get some kind of help for this condition.

  9. #9
    agree with triumph and CapnGimp.

    Additionally they can also become infected --> localized cellulitis.

    Best idea is have it looked at, see if it can be drained (bursitis), make sure it is not infected, then prevent recurrence --> don't lean or bang elbows repetitively on arm rests, use elbow pads if necessary, figure out other ways of positioning your body, or other ways of transferring.

    pbr

  10. #10
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    The doctors that I've seen it are resistant to drain it because of the risk of infection. Going to my GP tomorrow so I have a doctor who "owns" the problem.

    How long should I go with this balloon on my elbow before I insist on it getting drained?. Can I make someone drain it? What kind of timetable I am looking at for it to heal on its own, get infected, or finally accept the fact that it needs to be drained?

    On the way to the doctor. I'm stopping at the medical supply place to get some compression hose that won't slide off my arm. I lay in bed on my back with my elbow resting on a towel that contains a bag of ice.

    What I needed to know is what is a reasonable amount of time to say "hey, this thing is not going away. What are you going to do about it"?

    With the new war on prescription painkillers what should I take and for how long Should I be taking them for? My stomach is tired of ibuprofen but By the end of the day The elbow hurtS like hell.

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