Sunday, March 19, 2023

How Do I Know If I Broke My Elbow

How Can A Fractured Elbow Be Prevented

Broken Elbow — Repairing Elbow Fractures (Q& A)

Elbow fractures are difficult to prevent. However, it is easy to improve symptoms and pain by following the recommendations given by the specialist. Examples of these tend to include:

  • Raise the elbow above the heart to reduce inflammation and pain. Propping the elbow up with pillows, moving the fingers, and opening and closing them can help prevent hand stiffness.
  • Apply ice to the elbow to help relieve swelling and pain, as well as potential tissue damage. Remember to apply ice through a towel. It should be applied for 15-20 minutes every hour more or less.
  • Take painkillers, according to the specialists instructions. The patient shouldnt wait until the pain is unbearable. The specialist will recommend how often they should be taken, and prescribe them.
  • Physiotherapy and rehabilitation exercises. The physiotherapist will recommend exercises to improve joint movement as well as to regain muscle strength.

How Long Does It Take For A Fracture Elbow To Heal

It is very important to get your arm moving as soon as possible, to avoid joint stiffness and muscle tightness. At first, your elbow will feel stiff and painful, but it is important that you continue to move it as this will aid your recovery. It usually takes approximately 6 weeks for the fracture to fully heal.

All You Need To Know About An Elbow Fracture

If youve suffered a direct blow to your elbow or tried to break a fall with it, you could have fractured it. An elbow fracture is a break in one of the bones that form the elbow. It usually occurs in the bony protrusion of the elbow.

Symptoms of an elbow fracture include pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, and a feeling of your elbow getting weaker or about to give out. The severity of the symptoms and the physical appearance of the elbow usually gives clues as to the severity of the fracture.

Heres everything you need to know about an elbow fracture.

You May Like: Lump Near Shoulder Blade On Back

Contact Us To Find Out If You Qualify For Free Private Treatment

Many people who have broken bone NHS treatment have no idea that they may be eligible for free private treatment for their broken elbow. However, this is something that you can benefit from no matter what your location within the UK. All you need to do is get in touch with us and we can quickly determine your eligibility for free private treatment.

How Is An Elbow Fracture Diagnosed

Gavin Floyd Fractured Elbow Pictures

Diagnosing an elbow fracture involves obtaining a detailed medical history. Doctors will perform a physical examination of the elbow and arm. Doctors will check for skin cuts and lacerations. In more severe fractures, bone fragments can cut through the skin at the elbow.

Other examinations may include evaluating the fingers and arms for sensation. Physicians will assess other parts of the arm to rule out any other damage.

X-ray images or radiographs can provide a better picture of underlying trauma to the bones of the elbow. Physicians will request X-rays of the elbow and arm to make a better diagnosis and rule out other injuries. Radiographs are also important for determining fracture patterns to help with surgical procedures.

Computer tomography scans can also be combined with X-rays to aid in preoperative planning.

Read Also: Pain On The Inside Of The Elbow

When Elbow Pain Is A Sign Of A Serious Injury

Although the elbow is small, its a complex joint with cartilage, ligaments, fluid, muscles, tendons, and bone. It helps you with many different movements in your arm and hand, including rotation, extension, and flexing, often combining these motions at one time. Because of this, it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint what type of elbow movement leads to pain and when this pain is a sign of a serious injury calling for a trip to the doctor. Lets take a look at some signs and types of an elbow injury, so you know how you can manage elbow pain at home and when you need professional help.

Recovery After Surgical Treatment

Depending on the complexity of the fracture and the stability of the repair, your elbow may be splinted or casted for a short period of time after surgery.

Physical therapy. Patients will usually begin exercises to improve motion in the elbow and forearm shortly after surgery, sometimes as early as the next day. It is extremely important to perform the exercises as often as directed. The exercises will only make a difference if they are done regularly.

Restrictions. You will not be allowed to lift heavy objects with your injured arm for at least 6 weeks. You will also be restricted from pushing and pulling activities, such as opening doors or pushing up while rising from a chair. You may be allowed to use your arm for bathing, dressing, and feeding activities. Your doctor will give you specific instructions. They will also let you know when it is safe to drive a car.

Also Check: Keychain Wallet With Wrist Strap

How Can I Recover Safer And Possibly Faster

When it comes to this type of break, the treatment and recovery time will vary based on the injury. However, you may be eligible for free treatment including physiotherapy, which can help to really speed along the recovery time. All you need to do in order to find out if you are eligible for free treatment is give us a call and we can provide you with an answer in next to no time. Make sure that you avoid any strenuous lifting while you are recovering and that you do not put unnecessary strain on your elbow. You can also take elbow pain treatment to relieve the discomfort. This can be very beneficial if you experience a lot of elbow pain at night and your sleep is suffering.

What Are The Causes Of An Elbow Fracture

STOP Your Elbow Pain (Tennis Elbow) in 90 Seconds, Self Treatment

Direct trauma such as a hard hit, for example with a baseball bat, at the elbow, is a common cause of elbow fracture among young children and adults. Also, falling directly on the elbow can result in a comminuted fracture, or the bones of the elbow breaking into tiny fragments. Indirect trauma such as falling with an outstretched arm is often the cause of elbow fracture among the elderly.

Also Check: How To Put On Wrist Wraps

Treatment Options For An Elbow Fracture

There are non-surgical treatment and surgical treatment for an elbow fracture. The treatment for elbow fracture depends on the severity of the fracture.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Doctors will recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen to relieve pain symptoms, and also advise applying ice to reduce the swelling. For non-displaced fractures, non-surgical treatment often involves wearing a cast to immobilize the elbow.

Splints are usually worn for three to six weeks before they are removed. The splints/casts are designed such that the elbow is immobilized at 45° 90°. Exercises that improve range of motion are considered to aid movement at the elbow.

Surgical treatment

There are different surgical procedures available for repairing elbow fractures. These procedures depend on the age of the patient, the patients pre-existing conditions e.g an elderly patient with osteoporosis, etc. and the severity of the fracture.

Surgery is usually considered for displaced and open elbow fractures. In displaced fractures, the bones of the elbow are have shifted in position during the trauma that hits the elbow. Displaced fractures are often presented by older patients. Open fractures, on the other hand, occurs when the bones of the elbow are broken into two or more tiny pieces.

Common surgical techniques for repairing elbow fractures are

Tension band fixation or internal fixation

Intramedullary fixation

Plate and screw fixation

Excision and triceps advancement

Bone graft

When Should I See A Doctor For Elbow Pain

Elbow pain can be caused by several different things. A sprained elbow is the most common, but a broken or dislocated elbow can also occur. If you are experiencing pain while trying to bend your arm, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Pain in the elbow may be caused by arthritis or repetitive use. Other causes include certain diseases such as lupus, gout, and Lyme disease. Only a doctor can properly diagnose and treat the cause of your elbow pain. A physician can also recommend treatment for your particular problem. A doctor will be able to tell you if you need to see a specialist, based on the cause of your pain.

If the pain persists or becomes chronic, you should consult an orthopedic surgeon. An orthopedic surgeon is specialized in elbow problems and can diagnose the source of the problem and determine the best course of treatment.

Also Check: Fluid On The Elbow Joint

How Long Does Broken Elbow Healing Take

The broken elbow healing time can be affected by how severe the injury is as well as what sort of treatment you have had. For instance, if you have had a splint or cast, it may take less time than if you have had to have surgery carried out. In general the healing time can be around six weeks. After this, you may still experience pain or discomfort for a number of weeks. However, you can reduce this problem by opting for free physiotherapy treatment. Call us to find out more about your eligibility for free treatment.

Broken Bone Or Sprain

Crushed elbow

Whether it’s a slip on a rug, a sidewalk stumble, or a soccer turf spill, accidents happen. How do you know when it’s serious? Broken bones , sprains and strains often have similar symptoms, so uncovering the truth can be a tough mystery to solve on your own.

If you think you or a loved one has a break, sprain or strain, your best step is to get to the doctor, ER or urgent care . An x-ray can confirm or rule out a broken bone, and the physician can quickly diagnose your injury and provide the treatment for your road to recovery.

Don’t Miss: Pain Behind The Knee When Bent

How Bad Is My Broken Elbow Will I Need Surgery

Elbow fractures may vary depending on the severity of the injury. Fractures can be considered as a crack, chip, or split in the bone. Broken elbows can be categorized by fracture types 1-3.

  • Type 1 fractures are when the bone is fractured but is still in its normal position.
  • Type 2 fractures are when a piece or part of the bone has fractured and is shifted from its normal position.
  • Type 3, the most severe, is when there are multiple fractures in the bone. Type 1 and 2 fractures are usually treated without surgery, where type 3 usually requires surgery.

Healing time for broken elbows will vary depending on the type of fracture and how it is treated, non-surgical or surgical. Broken elbows that require surgery may be fixed with different devices such as pins, screws, plates, rods or external fixation. Your surgeon will discuss the options that are best for your healing and recovery.

Natural Treatments For A Bruised Elbow

Natural treatments for a bruised elbow include avoiding some foods, consuming other foods, and taking certain supplements.

Although advocated by natural healers and others, these practices arent necessarily based on proven clinical research.

Foods to avoid:

Foods to consume:

Supplements to take:

Proponents of home remedies also suggest making a poultice of comfrey or St. Johns wort and applying it externally to the elbow.

Read Also: Off The Shoulder Ruffled Top

Can You Bend Your Elbow When Its Broken

The elbow joint is made of two bones, the ulna and the radius. The ulna connects the elbow to the wrist and the radius is the portion of the elbow that is attached to the forearm. The ulna also has a bone called the olecranon that scoops around the end of the humerus to create a hinge.

The elbow joint is a hinge-like joint. The humerus, the bone on the thumb side and the forearm bone on the pinky side attach to the olecranon. These three bones are held together by tendons, ligaments, and muscles. The elbow can be bent in a wide range of ways, and its crucial for rotation of the forearm. The joint is also important in turning the hand up and down.

A doctor can use ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI to help determine what kind of elbow injury you have. While you shouldnt need lab tests for a broken elbow, some injuries, or certain types of surgery may require them. An arteriogram may be needed to confirm that there is no damage to the arteries that supply the arm.

What Happens If You Hit Your Elbow Too Hard

How can you tell if your wrist is sprained or broken?

A hard hit with a baseball bat, at the elbow, is a common cause of elbow fracture among young children and adults. The bones of the elbow can break away from the bone if you fall directly on the elbow. Injuries to the shoulder and elbow are the most common causes of shoulder injury in children.

The shoulder is the largest joint in the body and is responsible for the majority of arm and hand motion. It is important to note that shoulder injuries are not limited to children, but can occur in adults as well.

Read Also: Tory Burch Miller Shoulder Bag

When To Seek Medical Care

An elbow fracture carries the risk of potentially serious and disabling complications. If you think your elbow may be fractured, you should seek medical attention at a hospital’s emergency department immediately.

If you have only mild swelling, and no bruising, open wounds, or loss of feeling, you may consider calling a doctor prior to seeking emergency medical attention.

If your elbow shows any of the following problems after an injury to your arm, you should go to an emergency department.

What Is The Elbow

Elbows are basically hinge-type joints, like the hinge on a door.

The three bones that make up the elbow are the humerus, radius, and ulna. The humerus is the bone of the upper arm it flares out just before it connects with the elbow joint.

The radius and ulna are smaller and sit side-by-side in the elbow joint.

Strong ligaments hold the bones together .

Muscles and tendons surround the elbow joint and help it move. The elbow is capable of two main types of movement: bending and straightening and rotation .

Either one of these motions may be stiff or painful after a bad elbow injury.

Read Also: My Knee Hurts When I Bend It Backwards

Causes Of Elbow Fractures

There are endless possibilities for scenarios of things that could potentially break your elbow. Generally though, a fracture in this part of the arm is caused by one of three things. Either:

  • You fall straight down on or bang something directly with your elbow.
  • Something hits your elbow head on. This could be a football helmet, a wall, a car door in an accident, or any number of other things that are made of hard materials.
  • Falling when your arm is completely extended. Usually, when you have your arm in this position, everything is flexed and being held tightly. This sometimes causes a piece of the bone to get pulled off of another bone, usually the ulna.

As we mentioned above, there are a lot of these fractures seen in children. Kids typically do a lot of physical things like riding bikes, scooters, skateboards, running and jumping outside, playing on playground equipment, and more. These activities just open the door more frequently for elbow fractures in children who also tend to have less awareness about how to look out for potential injury-inducing situations.

The Anatomy Of The Elbow


Lets first go over the anatomy of the elbow so when we discuss the types of fractures it will be easier to understand what happens with the injury.

The elbow is a joint in the center of each arm. There are three bones included in the joint. Heres a quick look at each of them:

  • Ulna This is a bone in the lower part of the arm called the forearm. Its located toward the outside of the arm on the side the pinky finger is on. It connects the elbow to the wrist. The olecranon is a part of the ulna. Its the part of the elbow you can easily feel and see under the skin. It scoops around the end of the humerus and creates the hinge so the arm can move at the joint.
  • Radius This is another bone in the forearm. Its on the inside of the arm towards where the thumb is. It also runs all the way from the elbow to the wrist. The radial head is the end of this bone where it comes together with the elbow. It moves back and forth and rotates when you move your arm in various ways.
  • Humerus The humerus is in the upper arm. This bone connects the shoulder to the elbow. The end of it is called the distal humerus. It makes the top portion of your elbow and provides the rod for your forearm to pivot around when you bend it or straighten it.

There are ligaments and muscles that hold everything together. There are also three large nerves that cross over the elbow.

Recommended Reading: Valgus Deformity Of The Knee

What Is The Most Common Elbow Fracture

The most common elbow fracture is an olecranon fracture, which occurs at the very tip of the elbow. This area is susceptible to fractures because its not protected by muscles and other tissues.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If youve sustained an injury to your elbow, you should see your healthcare provider right away. Even if you can move your arm or elbow, you may still have a broken bone. Immediate medical attention is necessary to avoid permanent stiffness or damage.

Latest news
Related news