Ongoing troubles with elbow and wrist from elbow tendon injury

Four years ago I tore my inner tendon of my elbow falling up the stairs. I didn't think much of it because the pain wasn't overbearing, yet it was persistant.

As it got worse, two years later, I went to a doctor who performed an in-clinic procedure called "barbotage" where he poked my tendon and the bone around my tendon to "trick it into thinking" it had just hurt itself, thus starting a self-recovery. My arm was then immobolized for six weeks. I slowly recovered.

Two years later, today, that left arm is still smaller and weaker than my right. I cannot fully extend my arm and my inner elbow is still very sensitive.

This summer I tried to strengthen my arm again which caused my wrist to become sore. I figured it was just because my muscles in my arm were weak because when I first rehabbed my arm it was just as sore.

But the pain in my wrist persisted. I would pop at random times painfully. It was painful to flex my arm up at a ninety degree angle, perpendicular to my arm.

And after a few months, the pain has gotten worse. It now pops often whenever I move my wrist. When I massage my tendons, which are in pain and a litte swollen, it is very painful.

My thumb is now sore when I stretch it out (as if I put my hands on my hips). And my elbow is starting to hurt again, just as it did during the two years before I had the procedure to heal my torn tendon.

My forearm is tight and I do feel that my hand becomes weak at times. The other day, while massaging my wrist, I felt a sharp pain shoot up from my wrist, up my forearm, and to my elbow, underneath where I tore my tendon. It was the worst pain I have felt in my elbow for quite some time. Ever since that sharp pain, the pain in my wrist has been more consistent.

I have been diagnosed with tendonitis by an athletic trainer, who put it out there that I may have torn my tendon in my elbow again. I am wondering if this is in fact true, and if so, what should I do.


Joshua Answers:

Hi there OngoingElbowPain.

Well, possibly you reinjured that tendon at the elbow. Possibly it never healed in the first place, if it did actually tear.

Lots of variables. It depends on what those popping sounds are. Depends on if you actually ripped/tore the tendon when you fell up the stairs.

How you you know you tore it?

It totally makes sense that you hurt your elbow and now you have Wrist Tendonitis.

Read this page and it will explain why you have your symptoms: Symptoms of Tendonitis.

Also, read through this thread, as it's a BIG part of why you can't straighten your arm, and even why your arm is now weak and underdeveloped.
Can't Straighten Arm

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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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