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Elbow Fracture

Definition:

The bones of the elbow (humerus, radius and ulna) can break (fracture) in or adjacent to the elbow joint.

Causes:

You can injure your elbow in a variety of ways, from overuse to an acute traumatic event. Some common events that result in elbow fractures are:

  • Falling backward and trying to catch yourself
  • High-energy trauma, as may occur in an automobile or motorcycle collision
  • A direct blow or fall onto the elbow
  • A direct injury to the wrist, hand, or shoulder can also affect the elbow
Symptoms:

If your elbow shows any of the following signs, you may have a fracture or another injury that needs medical attention.

  • Swelling of your elbow or in the area immediately above or below your elbow
  • Deformity of your elbow, or the areas near your elbow
  • Discoloration, such as bruising or redness of your elbow
  • Difficulty moving your elbow through its complete range of motion
  • Numbness, decreased sensation, or a cool sensation of your forearm, hand, or fingers
  • Severe pain after an elbow injury
  • A “tight sensation” in the area of your elbow or forearm
Treatment:

Treatment of a broken elbow depends on the type of injury that you have suffered. It may include:

  • Elevating and applying ice to any swollen areas
  • Medications
  • Splints, slings or casts
  • Surgery to repair bones, nerves, and/or blood vessels
Elbow pain may be caused by tendinitis, bursitis, fractures, sprains, arthritis, cellulitis, tumors, and ulnar nerve entrapment.
South Sound Physical & Hand Therapy Pain Guide