Pacific Coast Soccer League

Metrotown Orthopedic & Sports Physiotherapy ClinicSOCCER AND YOUR BODY

A potentially lethal injury - Bursitis/Cellulitis

By Marc R. Rizzardo B.Sc. P.T., M.P.E., B.P.E., Dip. Sports Physio
Chief Therapist 2007 Pan Am Canadian Medical Team
Metrotown Orthopedic & Sports Physiotherapy Clinic, Burnaby, BC

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Recently I was treating a Goalkeeper. He came in complaining of pain at the right elbow following a rather intense session with the GK coach. In the session he was being shown how to dive properly but repeatedly hit the tip of his elbow.

When he went home he noticed it had swelled considerably and he had a small golf ball on the end of his elbow. A few hours went by and he got more and more sore. By then the swelling had grown into the size of a baseball.

When I examined him he was very swollen, and the bruising had started to trace down into his forearm. What was disconcerting was the redness near the wrist. The area of redness was slightly warm and somewhat painful to touch, which was interesting because most of the pounding had occurred at the elbow. The discoloration in the forearm was normal but the redness, heat and pain to touch at the wrist was not normal.

I sent him to the hospital to get checked out for CELLULITIS.

Sure enough the athlete was treated for Cellulitis with strong anti-biotics. Now two days into the treatment and the redness has settled down along with the heat and pain at the wrist.




The skin becomes red and swollen. Most of the time the skin is warm and painful to touch. Not always but other symptoms are fever, chills, headaches and general malaise.


Be seen by a physician at a hospital and get started on anti-biotics, either orally for the mild cases, or by intravenous for the severe cases.


The symptoms could spread and develop into necrotizing cellulitis/fascitis, which may lead to urgent surgical intervention. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Treat all scrapes cautiously. Make sure all abrasions/cuts/scrapes are treated properly and promptly. If one has any doubts to the seriousness of the injury refer to the right health professional, like a physician or a sports physiotherapist.

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