Swelling on the elbow

Elbow swelling, which may be localized at a specific point as in tennis elbow or golfers elbow can also be associated with or without pain. Elbow joint swelling where the entire joint is swollen can be from arthritis, infections, fractures or severe ligament damage. The swelling creates stiffness and pain on movement and can sometimes throb.

Swelling is a protection mechanism and indicates that an injury as occurred, but can also indicate a direct trauma incident where there as been a bleed to create a lump on the elbow. Injuries and conditions that cause this symptom are listed below:
  • Golfers Elbow

    Golfers Elbow

    Golfers elbow or medial epicondylitis is an overuse injury similar to tennis elbow (on the outside of the arm) but causing pain on the inside of the elbow instead. It is sometimes known as throwers elbow or little league elbow. We explain the symptoms, causes and treatment to return you back to full fitness in the shortest time.

  • Elbow Bursitis - Students Elbow

    Elbow Bursitis

    Elbow bursitis also known as Students elbow or Olecranon bursitis is the inflammation and swelling of the bursa which protects the end of the ulna bone at the back of the elbow.

  • Olecranon Fracture

    Olecranon Fracture

    The olecranon process the the large bony prominence at the back of the elbow on the ulna forearm bone. It is usually fractured from a direct impact or fall onto a bent elbow.

  • Broken Elbow

    Broken Elbow

    An elbow fracture is a break in one of the bones which form the elbow joint. There are three bones which could be broken. These are the Humerus (upper arm bone), Ulna and Radius (two forearm bones).

  • Dislocated Elbow

    Dislocated Elbow

    Elbow dislocations are the second most common dislocations in adults, behind shoulder dislocations. The elbow is a very stable joint and so it requires a lot of force to dislocate it.

  • Medial Elbow Ligament Sprain

    Medial Elbow Ligament Sprain

    The medial collateral (MCL) ligament of the elbow is situated on the inner elbow and helps to provide stability to the joint. Damage to this ligament can occur through an impact injury or an accident or from repetitive overuse, for example throwing with poor technique.

  • Biceps Tendonitis

    Biceps Tendonitis

    Biceps tendonitis results in pain and inflammation of the biceps tendon as it inserts into the inside of the elbow.

  • Osteochondritis Dissecans

    Osteochondritis Dissecans is a fragmentation of the cartilage and sometimes the underlying bone within a joint. This is common in adolescents as the ends of the bones are not yet fully hardened.

  • Synovitis of the Elbow Joint

    Elbow Synovitis

    Synovitis of the elbow joint is inflammation of the synovial membrane which surrounds the joint becomes inflamed.

  • Elbow Avulsion Fracture

    Avulsion fracture of the medial epiconyle is when the tendon comes away from the bone and can take part of the bone with it.

  • Elbow Apophysitis

    Apohysitis is a condition affecting children and adolescents and is a crumbling of the bone at the point the tendon attaches to. It is similar to apohysitis in the knee (Osgood schlatters disease) or at the back of the heel (Severs' diease). Apohysitis is usually something children will grow out of by the age of 16 or 17 although the condition does need to be managed properly with plenty of rest. Applying ice or cold therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Biceps Tendon Strain

    Biceps tendon strain at its insertion on the inside or front of the elbow is also rare but has been known in weight lifting and other strength type sports and activities. A tear of the tendon may follow a period of biceps tendinitis that is not treated and managed correctly.

  • Elbow Hyperextension

    Elbow Hyperextension

    An elbow hyperextension injury occurs when the elbow is bent back the wrong way. This over-straightening causes damage to the ligaments and structures of the elbow.

  • Lateral Elbow Pain

    The most common term for pain on the outside of the elbow is Tennis Elbow (Llateral Epicondylitis). However there are a number of other causes of lateral elbow pain which should be considered as well as acute elbow injuries such as ligament sprains and fractures. Other potential causes of pain on the outside of the elbow include referred pain, radial tunnel syndrome, synovitis, bursitis and osteochondritis dissecans.

  • Medial Elbow Pain

    Medial elbow is pain on the inside of the elbow. It usually comes on gradually through overuse but can also be an acute injury, especially when throwing. Golfer's elbow or throwers elbow is probably the most common name given to pain on the inside of the elbow and refers to inflammation or degeneration of the flexor tendon. Other causes include sprains (ligament tears), nerve compression, avulsion fractures apohysitis and pain referred from the upper back or shoulder.