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When should you call your doctor about elbow pain?

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If you think you’ve fractured or dislocated your elbow -- it hurts and doesn’t look right -- go to the emergency room. Call your doctor if you have:

  • Elbow pain that doesn’t go away with rest and ice, or pain that doesn’t go away even when you’re not using your arm
  • Intense pain, swelling, and bruising around your elbow
  • Pain, swelling, or redness that gets worse, especially if you have a fever, too
  • Problems using your elbow, such as difficulty bending your arm

SOURCES:

Arthritis Foundation: “Elbow Pain.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Understanding Elbow Pain.”

Mayo Clinic: “Dislocated Elbow,” “Bursitis, “Tendinitis,” “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,” “Stress Fractures,” “Rheumatoid Arthritis,” “Osteochondritis Dissecans.”

National Health Service (U.K.): Arm or Elbow Pain.”

Ortho Info: “Elbow Injuries in the Throwing Athlete.”

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on December 18, 2020

SOURCES:

Arthritis Foundation: “Elbow Pain.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Understanding Elbow Pain.”

Mayo Clinic: “Dislocated Elbow,” “Bursitis, “Tendinitis,” “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,” “Stress Fractures,” “Rheumatoid Arthritis,” “Osteochondritis Dissecans.”

National Health Service (U.K.): Arm or Elbow Pain.”

Ortho Info: “Elbow Injuries in the Throwing Athlete.”

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on December 18, 2020

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