What is an Elbow Fracture?
Pediatric elbow fractures make up about 10% of all pediatric fractures and come in all different shapes and sizes! There are three bones that make up the elbow joint and allow you to bend and straighten your arm and turn your palm up and down.
If your child sustains a fall and is complaining of pain with difficulty moving the elbow or if they have swelling or the arm appears crooked, you should seek immediate medical attention. Some fractures around the elbow can be treated with a cast only and others require surgery. If the bone is out of place, the physician may recommend surgery to realign the bone and hold it in place with wires or screws in addition to the cast. Wires that are used to help realign the bone are typically removed in the office several weeks after surgery. If screws are utilized, sometimes these will need to be removed several months later with an additional surgery to allow for continued bone growth.
It is not uncommon for kids to have occult (or hidden) fractures around the elbow that show up only as swelling on an xray. In this case, the physician may recommend placing the child in a cast for several weeks until evidence of healing can be seen on another xray.