Let’s Talk Elbow Fractures

The joints of the body are some of the most complex structures there are. We can’t really say that one is more so than any other; all joints have multiple moving parts and all are susceptible to injury and degeneration. In the elbow alone, there are three joints. They join the ulna, radius, and humerus bones. Normally, the three joints in the elbow work harmoniously to allow the arm to extend, flex and rotate. When function is compromised by a fracture to the elbow, patients or parents inevitably and understandably have questions.

How do I know if an elbow injury has caused a fracture?

There are several ways an elbow fracture may occur. A low-impact injury such as a fall or bump against a hard object could cause a fracture that is stable and small, causing only minor symptoms. This kind of fracture may feel like tenderness to the touch and may look like slight swelling. Therefore, the small fracture could be mistaken for a strain or sprain. Pain from a low-impact injury may resolve on its own in a few weeks.

A high-impact injury, such as from a car accident, is more likely to cause noticeable bruising, swelling, and pain. Deformity or dislocation may even be noticed and the arm may become incapacitated for normal use.

It is necessary to trust your instincts with elbow fractures. If pain persists or feels intense or if any instability is noticed, a medical evaluation can provide the necessary insight to guide treatment.

Will an elbow fracture require surgery?

Not all elbow fractures need surgical repair. Some stable fractures can heal with rest, ice, and splinting. Surgery may be necessary when there are bone fragments in the joint that do not align or that are positioned too far apart to heal properly.

Why Treatment for an Elbow Injury is Necessary

It is necessary to identify an elbow injury, the extent of the injury, and the necessity for treatment because an untreated fracture could have long-term effects such as arthritis or ongoing or recurring stiffness. The team at Advanced Orthopedics and Hand SurgeryInstitute can help you make sense of elbow pain and how to resolve it. Call (973) 942-1315 to schedule a visit to our Clifton, Wayne, or Parsippany office.

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