Elbow fractures occur commonly after a fall on an outstretched arm. This is a serious injury that needs prompt orthopedic treatment. If you think you or your child has suffered an elbow fracture, please see an orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible so the fracture may be treated and heal correctly.
The elbow joint is made up of three bones; the humerus in the upper arm, and the radius and ulna in the forearm. The elbow is a hinge joint that bends and straightens. It is also responsible for rotation of the forearm.
If you think you have suffered an elbow fracture, a thorough history and examination should be performed by an orthopedic specialist. Our Walk-In Anytime Ortho Orthopedic Urgent Care Clinic is a convenient affordable way to get an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment without having to go through the hassle and costs of a hospital emergency room.
Elbow fractures are diagnosed using imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scan, or MRI. X-rays are important to determine the characteristics of the dislocation or if there is a fracture. MRI of the elbow can identify the extent of any ligament or soft tissue injury.
Treatment options for elbow fractures will be discussed between the patient and the orthopedic specialist. The best treatment depends on factors such as fracture type and patient age.
After the elbow has been reduced and repaired, the elbow is placed in a splint to allow swelling to improve. Any cast or splint applied during surgery for repair of a fracture should be kept in place until the first postoperative visit. The length of time that a cast, splint, or brace needs to be used after surgery depends on the type of surgery and the stability of the fracture fragments. X-rays are taken at each office visit to monitor the position of the fracture and hardware and to monitor the healing of the bones. Therapy may be recommended to help to regain range of motion of the elbow.
**Disclaimer: Treatment recommendations may vary depending on your true diagnosis. Always follow the recommendations of your orthopedic provider.