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Does Tennis Elbow result in a nodule?

I have been diagnosed with tennis elbow. Well, sort of. I went to an orthopedic clinic and the doctor listened to my complaint and my suspicion that it is in fact tennis elbow, and then said, yes, you have tennis elbow. He showed me some exercises, recommended hot packs, and sent me on my way. He never once touched my arm or ask me to move it in any certain way. He prescribed tylenol. On the tendon (?) or something just above my elbow towards the elbow pit, I can feel something like a fatty lump and it is the source of all the pain. This has been gonig on for about 3 months now and is severely limiting what I can do.

I have tons of choices of other doctors to go to but I would like to hear from others before pursing it further.

thanks in advance
1 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
That stinks.  Injuries like that are a pain and not just in the literal sense.  Tennis elbow is a stress injury usually from a repetitive motion and normally gets better with some minor care.  It's on the outside of the elbow.  Is this where you have your lump?  Tennis elbow is actually a tendon issue where small tears have developed. It can turn into a chronic pain and hurts to touch it as you describe.  Personally, I'd see an orthopedic doctor for confirmation that nothing more is going on (as it sounds like doctors are available to you) and definitely a physical therapist.  They can help you with stretches, icing, etc. to speed recovery.  Rest is essential and you can take an otc pain reliever like ibuprofen (if your doctor is okay with that). https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/tennis-elbow#1

Another reason to see an orthopedic doctor is to make sure that you don't have elbow bursitis. This is inflammation of the bursa of your elbow which is basically a fluid filled sac which we have so muscles and tendons glide easily over joints and bones. Normally bursa is flat but when it becomes inflamed, it can become a lump because it swells. Really though, if this is bursitis, the treatment is similar to tendonitis.  Nsaids, rest, protect the elbow.  https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/olecranon-bursitis#1

But I'd want to know exactly what the situation was myself so see a doctor willing to really dig a bit deeper to diagnose it.  Let me know what they say!
5 Comments
Well I should disclose that I live outside my home country so there is a big language barrier between myself and the doctors. The nodule/lump/sac is above my elbow yes. I suppose it could be bursitis. My issue is that this doctor didn't even touch the area or even examine it. Of course I want to avoid surgery, but I want this to go away and soon. I have a kid on the way and need use of both arms. I guess my main question is what should the doctor do in order to diagnose it? I don't feel that this guy did enough at all.
Surgery usually isn't a treatment for either tennis elbow or bursitis as it usually gets better before that's on the table as an option.  Normally they watch you flex your arm to see where it hurts to diagnose it.  If unsure, they may ask for imaging to be done such as x ray or MRI.  They do sometimes touch the area but sometime they just ask you to manipulate it/move it so they can see that way.  Normally surgery happens only if it hasn't gotten better in 6 months to 12 months. I would certainly try the physical therapy route before going to surgery.  They also can do less invasive things before suggesting surgery such as injections like botox into the area.

Bursitis is also a possibility since you have a painful lump.  Is the pain on the OUTSIDE of your elbow?
Yes the pain is on the outide of the elbow. I can feel that sac or nodule a little less than halfway between elbow and elbow pit.
wonder if you could have both? I would consult with an orthopedic doctor but do what the original doctor recommended fully.  How long have you had the issue?  How long have you been trying their remedies?  Some doctors do not touch the area but examine from your movement and description of pain.  An x ray or mri tells you conclusively.  
It's possible that I have both sure. I am going to go to a different doctor and am not gonna let him spirit me out until I'm sure he's done everything he can to make sure of the diagnosis.
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