Thursday, April 12, 2012

An Elbow Adventure

I have been fighting a severe tendinitis in my elbow for the last eight weeks.  Lateral epicondylitis is the official diagnosis, which is really just a couple of big words that mean I have tennis elbow.  No fair, since I don't play tennis!  My cousin, Sue, had a case of tennis elbow from crocheting too much.  Alas, mine was not caused by anything so glamorous; I have been lifting a lot of heavy stuff, and strained it.  Since it's my right elbow, and I'm right handed, it has been rather inconvenient!

I have been trying to take it easy on my right arm, and have been doing the usual treatments for tennis elbow, which consist of resting it, taking ibuprofen, and keeping it wrapped or wearing a brace.  But in the weeks since the original injury, it has only gotten worse, and much more painful.  The throbbing ache has radiated from my elbow up into my bicep, all the way down to my wrist, and has been keeping me awake at night.  So this afternoon, off to the orthopedic surgeon I went.  X-rays were taken, which showed no breaks or arthritis.  Then the doctor got a hold of my arm, found all the sore spots, pressed on the most painful area, and suggested a steroid shot.  Since I had already done the basic care, and it hadn't worked, the shot was the next thing to try.  I have had a steroid shot in my heel before, and let me assure you, they are quite painful.  I think giving birth hurt less!  But, I also know that after the first couple of days when the pain can actually get a bit worse, it will usually get better rapidly. So I went for the shot.

From Google Images

First, the doctor pressed on my elbow again to find the most painful spot, right about where the needle is in the above picture.  He marked the spot with his pen, then cleaned the area, and injected away!  The needle goes right down to the bone, and he repositioned it twice to make sure the whole area got a good dose of steroid.  It was very painful, but thankfully, there is some numbing medicine mixed in, so it does go numb by the time the injection is finished.  The doctor made sure I was doing ok after that painful shot, and asked if I was breathing.  I know I was gritting my teeth, but I must have been holding my breath, too.

I'm hoping I will be feeling better in a couple of days.  I have to take it easy on my arm so it can heal, but I could be doing much better within a couple of weeks.  I'm looking forward to that!


  1. And soo mother Sue had a tennis elbow caused by crochet too. What are the odds? :)

  2. Mine wasn't caused by crochet...just too much lifting of heavy objects. I remember her post about it, and thought I'd rather have tendinitis from something fun!