Olecranon Bursitis — Commonly Known As Popeye's Elbow

Bursitis of the Elbow also known as Popeye Elbow, have you ever heard of it? 

Nick-named after the cartoon character of Popeye the Sailor Man. It's easy to spot and diagnose.  

A friend dropped in for a visit the other night. As we were talking he mentioned that his elbow was swollen. 

He rolled up his sleeve and showed his elbow to me. I was surprised, when I heard him called it a, Popeye Elbow because it actually looked like Popeye's elbow. I took these pictures of it.

It's official name is, Olecranon Bursitis and is the inflammation of small sacs of fluid called bursae which lubricates the joint at the back of the elbow caused by a sudden injury, being hit over and over and smashed, which causes fluid and bleeding to build-up within the joint. An X-ray may be necessary to determine whether there is damage to the elbow. The doctor may or may not at the time drain it, using a syringe and testing the contents in the lab. It's best not to do it yourself. 

It may or may not hurt. My friend said his didn't hurt but usually there is pain involved when movement or pressure is applied. The swelling occurs just at the back of the elbow. There's a redness to the swollen area which may streak up to the lymph nodes in the armpit, caused by the infection. 

The only treatment for Popeye Elbow is to watch where you are placing your elbows, during sports activities, using protective gear such as pads and guards and to avoid leaning on them if at all possible. I've heard that Popeye Elbow is even being linked to the gout. Yikes! Gout is something that I suffer from now and again. 


Antibiotics may be needed to treat it, if it gets infected. Surgery the last call. 

Popeye Elbow, I've never heard of it before have you?

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1 comment:

Anil Prajjap said...

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