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How Do I know If My Elbow Injury Is Serious?

how do i know my elbow injury is serious

How Do I know If My Elbow Injury Is Serious?

Despite being a small joint, the elbow is an integral part of our body. It is a composite joint consisting of cartilage, ligaments, fluid, muscles, tendons and bones. It helps us to execute different activities like rotation, extension or flexing and sometimes a combination of all these movements. Due to the ability of our elbow to perform several activities at the same time, it becomes difficult to detect exactly which movement is causing the elbow to hurt. It is also difficult to identify when the situation is serious enough to get medical help. Here is a detailed guide so that it becomes easier for you to identify the problem and treat it accordingly. 

Signs and symptoms of elbow injury: 

Our elbow does not undergo any problems like arthritis. The factors which are likely to cause pain in your elbows include constant movement in the parts of the body like the arm, hands or wrists. It can be due to performing activities like sports, exercises or various other work. The injuries which are caused due to activities such as these are known as overuse injuries. 

Some symptoms of elbow injury are:

  • Experiencing pain while performing activities like throwing after using your elbow to do it. 
  • Decrease in the strength or flexibility of your elbow or arm. 
  • Stiffness of your elbow. 
  • Experiencing pain while making a fist. 
  • Deformity in the elbow is visible. 
  • Feeling a sensation of numbness or tingling in the elbow, arms, wrist or hands. 

If you feel significant pain in your elbows while moving, then you should consider seeking medical treatment. At Germanten Hospital, we have expert doctors who diagnose the cause of pain and treat you accordingly. 

Elbow injuries and causes of elbow pain: 

The factors that are responsible for injuries occurring in the elbows are trauma or overuse. Wear and tear may also be a cause of injury, but it generally does not happen. Here are some kinds of common elbow injuries and reasons causing them:

  • If you break or fracture your elbow: It can cause pain, and you will be able to see the deformity on the elbow as well. 
  • If you dislocate your elbow: It occurs when your forearm or upper arm bones are dislocated with each other, causing the elbow to move out of place. 
  • If you sprain your elbow or injure the elbow due to stretched ligament
  • If you experience tendonitis or swelling of the tendons and connective tissues in the elbow
  • Bursitis or swelling of the elbow joint. 
  • Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injury occurs due to overuse and results in a frayed, torn or loose elbow ligament. 
  • Lateral Epicondylitis or swelling of the tendons which connect the muscles of the forearm to the elbow. 
  • Valgus Extension Overload, leading to the deterioration of the cartilages abnormally and a bone spur. 
  • Osteoarthritis or when the cartilage of the elbow wears out or is damaged. 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis or swelling of the elbow joint. 
  • Decreased blood supply results in the cracking, separating or loosening of bones. 
  • If the bones, tendons, muscles put too much pressure on the nerves of the elbow. 
  • Too much pressure on the ulnar nerve near the elbow. 

If you experience any of these conditions, then connect to Germanten Hospital to get it treated. 

How to manage an elbow injury at home

Most times, the elbow injury can be treated at home and does require medical treatment. However, make sure that your elbow is not exposed to further damage. RICE is the best method to treat an elbow injury. 

  • Rest: Get some rest.
  • Ice: Apply ice thrice a day for 20 minutes. 
  • Compression: Compress the area with a bandage to reduce swelling. 
  • Elevation: Keep your elbow elevated. 

When to contact a doctor for an elbow injury?

You should visit a doctor if you observe a bone protruding out or a deformity. You may contact a doctor if:

  • The pain is unbearable and persistent.
  • Swelling around the elbow. 
  • Persistent redness and bruising. 
  • Limited flexibility. 
  • If the RICE method is not working.

If you are wondering, “how do I know if my elbow injury is serious?” then try the RICE method to see if the pain subsides. If not, then seek medical help at Germanten Hospital


Germanten Hospital has been one of India’s leading facilities for various medical treatments. Under insightful leadership, we have acquired excellence when it comes to treatments in neurology, plastic or cosmetic surgery, orthopaedics and reconstructive surgery. 

Dr. Mir Jawad Zar Khan has led our hospital to the forefront of the medical industry. He has experience of 20 years in orthopaedics. His alma mater is Osmania University, where Dr. Khan achieved a gold medal for his excellence in education. He then completed advanced training in the USA and Germany. 

Dr. Mir Jawad Zar Khan was awarded the “Best Doctor” by Shri Roshaiah Garu, the Former Gov. of Tamil Nadu and former CM of Andhra Pradesh. He was also felicitated with the Vaida Ratna Award in 2019 by Shri Etala Rajendra, the honourable health minister of Telangana. In addition to that, Germanten Hospital also received an award of “Best Orthopaedic Hospital In South India” from the Economic Times Group in 2021. 

We have gained access to state-of-the-art medical technology and the latest advanced equipment, which has proven to be quite beneficial for our patients.