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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Mar 23, 2017
Why does my arm still hurt 2 years after torn tendon surgery?
by: RT

Hi, I fell down while playing basketball and suffered a tendon tear so I had surgery but two years after the surgery the pain has returned.

I went to see the specialist and he said that they might need to do another surgery after looking at the MRI and asked me to wait however he has now retired and when I went to another specialist and had another MRI and he said that there wasn't anything wrong and he doesn't know why my arm hurts like it did before.

Is it possible that it didn't show up in the MRI because of the scar because when I had the MRI before I was injected with a dye so that it would be easier to see however when I went to the other specialist and had the MRI no dye was injected?

I don't use my arm as much now and don't play basketball anymore as I am busy studying but how do I stop the pain as ibuprofen doesn't help either.

What should I do now?


Joshua Comments:

Hi RT.

You fell, the force tore a tendon.

Your brain responded with tightness and inflammation.

You had repair surgery. Your brain responded with tightness and inflammation.

And all that used up nutrition, now you're short (if you're weren't already, still are and more so).

That tightness, inflammation, and nutritional insufficiency creates Tendonitis.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis is a progressive (quickly or slowly) dynamic made up of, and made worse, by, chronic tightness, chronic inflammation, and chronic nutritional insufficiency.

See: Pain Causing Dynamic

Presumably the torn tendon is healed back together, but one can have ALL sorts of pain and problem from the factors of tendonitis...and unfortunately doctors are clueless about that.

If you don't have a tear, they can't comprehend why you might be hurting. That's mind boggling to me...but that seems to be the way it is.


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