What is an Elbow Fracture/Break/Sprain?
Three bones join to form the elbow joint. Strong ligaments connect the humerus (arm bone), radius (large forearm bone) and ulna (small forearm bone). The elbow joint is very important because it moves the arm and forearm.
Elbow injuries are common. An elbow fracture, break, and sprain should be seen by an Orthopedic Institute of Central Jersey (OIOCJ) specialist. The following are common causes of an elbow fracture, break, and sprain:
- Direct blows
Pain, swelling, bruising, and stiffness are common symptoms. OIOCJ specialists analyze symptoms, perform an elbow examination, and order and analyze medical imaging studies (x-rays and possibly an MRI) to diagnose elbow fractures, breaks, and sprains. An accurate diagnosis leads to effective treatment.
How is an Elbow Fracture/Break/Sprain Treated?
Nonsurgical treatment options treat the majority of elbow fractures, breaks, and sprains. Immobilization is important. Placing the elbow in a cast, splint, or removable brace immobilizes the joint. This gives the bones and ligaments time to heal. A strong, healthy bone forms after weeks of immobilization. Other treatment options help reduce symptoms. The following are commonly prescribed:
- Pain and anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy (after immobilization)
- Rest, ice, elevation
Surgery may be recommended to treat severe elbow fractures and breaks. During an open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) procedure, an OIOCJ specialist realigns the broken elbow bones and uses screws and a plate or rod to fixate them. The joint is immobilized after surgery. The bones heal over the course of many weeks. Patients regain motion and are no longer in pain after a complete recovery. OIOCJ elbow specialists are fellowship trained and board-certified. To schedule an appointment, call 732-201-6990 or visit our contact page.
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