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Locked up Elbow!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Has anybody else ever experienced a locked arm/elbow.  I do a lot of swimming and woke up with what felt like a sore muscle in my upper arm.  (I immediately thought it was swimmers elbow).  By nightfall, the arm was in a locked position.  I've since seen my family physician who thought it was possibly cellulitis.  Then i went to a vascular guy because they thought it was a blood clot.  Now I'm seeing an orthopedic oncologist who after reviewing the MRI thinks it's either a tumor or myositis ossificans (bone that forms withing muscle after an injury or trauma).  I guess the last two resembel each other, so I have to wait another 3 weeks to get another MRI or Xray.  The wait is driving me crazy.  My arm seems to have loosened up a touch, but I still can't come close to straightening it.  Hopefully one of my barking bear friends can give me some imput on this!





Edited by Snowmiser - 5/15/2009 at 10:12 pm GMT
post #2 of 8

In the days of yore, when a blocking pole plant was a part of short swing, I used to make a lot of pretty hard pole plants (one friend used to call me Mr. Little Turns), and I skied on Midwestern hardpack.  Both my elbows would become sore and be painful to touching as each winter wore on.  At one point, I remember, one elbow wouldn't straighten completely for the last half of a season and the first month of a summer.  When I consulted a physician, I was told I probably had arthritis starting from all the irritation.  I stopped making hard pole plants and my elbows have not gotten as sore in years.  I probably was in my late 30s or early 40s when this occurred.


Maybe you do something strenuous with your arms when you swim that causes a similar condition? 

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I think you're on to something Kneale!  I talked to my swim coach, and she said that several members of our team are suffering from "swimmers elbow".  My doctor mentioned that tennis players get a condition called "tennis elbow" that turns into myositis ossificans for some odd reason in some people.  I guess I must be one of those people.  I am able to almost straighten the arm out completly now, but it feels really tight and I don't have much strength.  I won't know for sure what's going on with it until next Tuesday, but the fact that I can get it to straighten out more seems like a good sign to me.  

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Went back to the orthopedic oncologist today, and he confirmed that I don't have a tumor (thank God).  It is myositis ossificans.  After three long weeks of waiting to find out which one it was, and also forcing myself to get my arm to straighten by lowering milk jugs and streching on my kid's swingset rings, I can finally completely straighten it out.  The x-ray shows that the bony growth that had formed within the muscle is now gone too.  Yea!!!  No surgery!  I'm grateful that I was sent to the right doctor who just so happend to have expertise on this condition which is many times mis-diagnosed as cancer.    It's been a long three weeks, but I'm super relieved.  



post #5 of 8

Great news. Way to show ossificans who's boss!

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks telerod15!


I had never heard of this condition before, have you?  I was told that from now on, I better be sure to put ice on any type of bumps I get!

Edited by Snowmiser - 6/3/2009 at 11:36 am GMT
post #7 of 8

No, I've never heard of  that. I think you made the whole thing up. I've had some bone growth from trauma, but not inside my muscles. That's weird. Even weirder that it went away. Sorry you had to go through the stress of thinking you might have cancer. Doctors. Well I guess you have to cover all the bases. You knew right away you had swimmer's elbow. You didn't know it could lead to ossification in the muscle, but you worked it out yourself with milk jugs and swing set rings before the diagnosis was in. Good for you!

post #8 of 8

A friend who had had numerous injuries to his quads over the years (runner, big biker, played contact sports as a youth) and had been told repeatedly he had some ossification going on in his tendons,  several years ago had those tendons rupture during his first day of skiing for the season. 


After the surgical repair, and after having taken some supplement suggested by his surgeon,  there was evidence of reduction in the ossifications.

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