What can cause my elbow to swell up quickly after I hit it?

It may be that you have a contusion (bruise) because of the lack of padding and general vulnerability of the elbow. It is common for a contusion of the elbow to swell rapidly after irritation of the olecranon bursa or the synovial membrane. You should treat the swelling immediately with ice and compression for at least 24 hours. If swelling is severe, see a physician for further examination.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Southern Utah University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.