Soft, Hard, Watery, Painful Lump on Elbow: Diagnosis, Symptoms, Treatment

If the mass of interest appears rather fixed in place, there is a good chance the hard lump on your elbow bone is due to a physical injury. Damaging the bones during a fall or fight may distort the shape or cause inflammation of neighboring tissues.

Causes for a hard lump on elbow bone

If you are in a lot of distress and believe you may have broken your bone, visit a physician immediately. Failure to do so may result in improper healing and subsequent deformity.

What about a small, painful lump?

A minuscule lump may be the sign of an inflammatory response rather than an abnormal mass. The elbow is a hotspot for injury and it should come as no surprise that the excessive friction and rigor of this location means it will likely face injury. A sensitive, swollen lump may be the reflection of strained muscles.

Damage to the elbow tendon or the surrounding flesh can also lead to the development of slightly raised skin. These will likely go away without intervention so long as breakages and fractures have been taken care of. Pain killers may be prescribed to alleviate discomfort.

Causes for a fatty lump on the elbow

Fatty lumps are typically phonotypes from genes. They are normally a small lump unaccompanied by any other symptoms. These can normally remain untouched as they do not interfere with body function and pose little threat to your wellbeing.

Of course, if it continues to grow in size or you develop a large soft lump, bring it to the attention of your doctor. While not necessarily cancerous, these are indicators and larger, growing tumors have a higher potential to disrupt healthy activities.

What conditions have fluid on the elbow lump?

Fluid in the elbow lump can mean several different things. If the fluid is thick and visible through the skin, you may have developed an infection. Pus, a thick and yellowish or green opaque substance is the body’s production of a battle with a pathogen. The grisly liquid is a result of dead white blood cells mixed with bacterial and tissue debris and serum. It often has a nasty smell and the surrounding tissue is quite red, painful, and swollen.

The sore mass is least if your problems as the discharge means something is wrong in your body. Treat immediately if the secretions appear so you may get prescribed antibiotic or other medication to get that under control. It may need to be lanced and drained to promote healing, but that is not your call to make. It is hard for the nonprofessional to distinguish it from other diseases. If it is a watery lump rather than infected, it may be a common and generally harmless condition.

What is Olecranon Bursitis?

Bursitis is a collection of conditions that are characterized by the inflammation of bursae. A bursa has a center capillary layer of viscous synovial fluid. Its duty is to be that pillow that cushions between bones, tendons, and muscles around a joint. Most commonly they impact the subacromial, prepatellar, retrocalcaneal, and pes anserinus bursae. These include the shoulders, knees, heels, and shins in addition to elbows as possible sites of swelling. It reduces friction and promotes free movement by preventing erosion and enhancing lubrication between the structures. Imagine an old door hinge that needs WD40 to understand the functionality behind it. Without it, bones would violently rub against each other slowly eroding and wearing away tissue and hindering fluid movement. You’d be from the tin may like Wizard of Oz.

While it is not always infection, individuals with cellulitis will have systematic reactions such as a high fever. In order to eliminate this bursitis as the source of infection, aspiration must be performed.

Those not infected can be treated homeopathically. Rest, drugs, elevation, physiotherapy, and ice compresses can help. In severe cases, bursectomies must be performed where the abnormality is cut out from the inside of the elbow via endoscopically (with a camera shimmied in) or with open surgery.

Generally, symptoms are rather local and include stiffness, erythema, and joint pain. Symptoms tend to worsen following physical activity or exercise.

Can it be cancer?

With all tumors come the risk that you may have cancer. The chances are slim to none, especially if you have tiny masses that don’t grow.

Still, they are physiologically similar and further tests are often needed beyond initial examination in order to get that concrete diagnosis. Often they have pictures taken or put sample tissue under the microscope to see the microscopic activity firsthand.

How do I receive a diagnosis for soft lumps on the elbow?

Diagnoses for soft lumps on the elbow require lab analysis. An ultrasound or Xray may be used to monitor the mass and analysis it without having to chop you open. Even with the pictures, special training is needed in order to understand how to interpret the results. Self exams at home are a great and important measure to take to observe changes in growths. However, these are not meant as a diagnostic tool but rather to be used in assistance so you recognize something strange to bring up to your doctor at your next appointment.

 

 

Article References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/broken-elbow
  2. https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/olecranon-bursitis#1

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