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What may increase your risk for problems from your elbow symptoms?

Many conditions, lifestyle choices, medicines, and diseases interfere with your ability to heal or fight infection. You may be at risk for a more serious problem from your symptoms if you have any of the following. Be sure to tell your health professional.


  • A problem or condition present since birth (congenital defect)
  • Previous elbow injury
  • Previous surgery to the area
  • Surgery to remove the spleen
  • A condition that affects the nerves, such as:
    • Peripheral neuropathy
    • Cervical disc disease
    • Cervical arthritis
  • Referred pain from a problem elsewhere in the body:
    • A neck problem, such as cervical radiculopathy
    • A shoulder problem, such as arthritis of the shoulder
    • A wrist problem, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
    • A heart problem, such as coronary artery disease
    • A tumor or bone cyst near the elbow or in the arm

Lifestyle choices

  • Alcohol abuse or withdrawal
  • Drug abuse or withdrawal
  • Smoking or other tobacco use


  • Blood-thinning medicines, such as warfarin, heparin, or aspirin
  • Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone or dexamethasone
  • Medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection


  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Gout
  • Hemophilia
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
  • Inherited bone disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Lupus
  • Lyme disease
  • Malnutrition or an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Septic arthritis
  • Septic bursitis
  • Sickle cell disease
Author Jan Nissl, RN, BS
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Tracy Landauer
Primary Medical Reviewer William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Updated February 19, 2009

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 19, 2009
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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