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Elbow bursitis?

11:19:28 AM
Last week while lowering after an attempt at a steep bouldery climb my elbow swelled up to golf ball size with fliud. There was no pain, but obvious deformity for all to see!

I couldn't get an appt with the climbing doctor so went to see a GP who has had much experience in dealing with this condition with "normal" people. His diagnosis was bursitis (bursar sack leakage), that it's not a serious case and should clear up in 2-3 weeks of resting.

He told me not to climb in the meantime and suggested that a longer layoff may be necessary so as not to re-trigger the condition. HOWEVER he said there would not really be not be any way to tell how long I should layoff and if it was him he would stop climbing for "as long as I possibly could"?!

Anyone have any experience with this?

11:25:01 AM
Olecranon bursitis?

I'd say rest up as well, as it'll only get bigger. Particularly if you use / lean on the elbow a lot.
Doesn't mean you can't use your other arm, you probs need compression and NSAIDs, but the doctor I am sure has advised you of this.

12:20:26 PM
Olecranon bursitis

Dr advocates compression and NSAIDs for more serious cases only, as they can distract from the undelying causes which are usuallyy leaning on or banging your elbows
8:00:52 PM
Golf ball? Count yourself lucky - my elbow swelled to football size by the time I went to Emergency!
I was climbing at Reservoir Dogs, two pitch climbing area, when my elbow started to niggle. I stupidly ignored my body and pushed on. Then stupidly just put some Ice on it and went to bed. I woke up at 5am sweating; off to the RPA - elbow bursitis; stay off it for a month.
This was two weeks before summer holidays, trip to Arapiles for over a month!

I put my elbow in a sling, more just to remind myself not to use it.. Took the medication I was prescribed... Still went camping, scrambled up a few easier climbs... But come new year I was climbing normally, haven't had a problem since.

The doctors weren't sure what brought it on. I broke my elbow 15 years ago - they said there was a possibility that somehow flared up, or a bone fragment was loosened while climbing - who knows.

I am not advocating ignoring doctors orders - in deed, I definitely took it easy for the first few weeks! Just relating my experience.

8:21:35 PM
I had the same problem after a day of hard climbing in Kalbarri. I continued to climb as normal for the following day. It was painful though. I saw a friend who was a doctor and he told me to ignore it. I did and it disappeared pretty quick. But I am careful now about leaning on my elbows for long periods.

9:28:18 AM
Thanks for those responses guys. Good to know that my doctor's diagnosis and treatment is similar despite him not knowing anything about climbing, he actually asked "so you hammer those piton things into the rock right?"

Football size that must've been pleasant. Actually Marty your reposnse has reminded me that I came off my skateboard when I was a teenager and chipped the tip off my elbow bone. The doctor at the time said no point in removing the fragment unless it causes problems later on. Trouble is, that was so long ago that I can't remember which elbow it was!!! I'm getting old
4:20:05 PM
On 10/07/2014 2G wrote:
> The doctor at the time said no point
>in removing the fragment unless it causes problems later on. Trouble is,
>that was so long ago that I can't remember which elbow it was!!!
>I'm getting old

Well I've banged myself so many times, who knows what caused it!
If every bump ended up in bursitis, I'd look like Mr Stay Puffed

There are 7 messages in this topic.


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