The elbow is made up of three main bones: the humerus, the radius and the ulna. The elbow joint consists of portions of these three bones: the distal humerus, the radial head and the olecranon. An elbow fracture is a break to any of these portions of the arm.  

The three main types if elbow fractures include radial head or neck fractures, olecranon fractures and distal humerus fractures.  

What are common causes of an elbow fracture

Elbow fractures are often caused by fall on out stretched hand 

What are the symptoms?

A broken elbow will be extremely debilitating due to the complexity of the region. Pain, numbness and weakness throughout the entire arm is common, and the elbow joint will be extremely painful, bruised and swollen making it hard to move. A snap or pop may be audible when impact occurs. 

How are elbow fractures treated? 

Some elbow fractures where the joint is not dislocated can be treated in a cast or thermoplastic splint. Surgery is usually required for severe breaks with displaced fractures. Fixation devices including screws, plates, nails or K-wire will help stabilise the healing process. You will usually be referred to a Hand Therapist following surgery to help control swelling, regain motion, and provide a removable brace to protect the surgical site. 

If you have any questions regarding a broken arm or elbow, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today for an appointment.