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Thread: Sore elbow

  1. #1

    Sore elbow

    Hey all, ok this is kida a long story. A few weeks ago I developed an open sore on my elbow. I thought I had just smashed it on something, so I bandaged it and went on with life. Now I'm begining to suspect its a pressure sore, cause its really gross and nasty looking with some pus and all. Also, in the last coupla days its gotten swollen, red, hot, and painful on the side I can feel on. I think its itchy too. Anyhow, I'm trying to stay off it, but since its the side I drive my power chair with, as well as the arm I write with. But I'm doing my best. I have also bandaged it well, cleaned it with an antiseptic, and kept it dry. I have an ASAP Dr.s appointment next Monday. Is there anything else I can do? Should be doing? Is it bad enough that I should think of waiting in emergecy for 8 hours to get treated?

  2. #2
    Just me bein' a mom, Emi, but I think it should be looked at before next Monday; if you've got pus draining out of it, there's infection there,and the last thing you want to get is that infection going systemic. Then you'd be in hospital a lot longer than 8 hours! Can you call your doc back and see if you can get an emergency appointment with him? Did you explain to the receptionist about the pus? Maybe call and ask to speak to the doc's nurse; sometimes they can do wonders with wrangling appointments through overprotective secretaries!

    Tough times don't last - tough people do.

  3. #3
    Emi...It concerns me that your elbow is getting swollen and red. This sometimes can indicate infection. I definately would not wait until next monday for a doctor to look at it. Maybe you could phone the hospital where you were treated and ask for the nurses station. They might be able to help interim. Also call the doctor back (where your appointment is scheduled) tell them your elbow has become swollen and red. That you need the appointment expedited. Until then clean it often. I have heard a heat lamp or the heat from a strong lightbulb helps. Get a piece of foam pad to raise your forearm up so your elbow doesn't have pressure on it.

  4. #4
    "I have heard a heat lamp or the heat from a strong lightbulb helps."

    Very wrong, drying out and crusting over prevents lower layers of skin cells from migrating to the surface as is required for healing.

    I don't know what the hell you did, but it sounds like you need to be more aware of your elbows. Let this be a lesson to all those who do major elbow leaning at their job, desk, computer, bed, etc. Every night at the sink I raise my arms and check out my elbows in the mirror.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Monty289's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Appleton, Wisconsin, USA
    Hi Emi,
    I too got sore elbows once. Mine came for typing and being at a desk all day. What I did was bought gel filled arm rests for my chair. I got them from Invacare and have not had a problem since. There funny at first but after awhile I started to like them better. Give them a shot they worked form me. Good luck

    Keep it shiny side up!

  6. #6

    Don't wait

    I agree, Emi. This cannot wait until next Monday. Call your physician in the AM, and if they cannot see you sooner, you need to go to the emergency room. You could be developing cellulitis which could develop into septicemia, and you also could have a septic arthritis or bursitus that could result in osteomyeltits. This may require both drainage of the area and IV antibiotics.

    Don't delay. I don't want to scare you, but one of my patients delayed on a problem like this and ended up having to have his arm amputated above the elbow.

    Once it is resolved, see an OT who can help you evaluate sources of pressure on your elbow and suggest adapted equipment and devices to reduce the pressure. Of course twice daily skin inspection is also needed here for anyone who is T2 or above (the elbow is innervated for sensation at T1).


  7. #7


    I'm on antibiotics now, my Dr. told me to keep staying off of it As much as possible and to keep a good close eye on it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    middle of nowhere

    sore elbow

    It might make you feel better to know that I've had about the same thing. I let it go until you could hear it squish when I leaned on it (smart).Anyway I had surgery annd just couldn't bend it for a week or 10 days. It healed up fine, but the doc chewed me out royally for ignoring it.WR

  9. #9
    Emi, How's the elbow? Better, I hope!

    Tough times don't last - tough people do.

  10. #10
    Originally posted by Marmalady:

    Emi, How's the elbow? Better, I hope!

    Tough times don't last - tough people do.
    Yup, no more infection, almost healed! Thanks for asking...

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