The symptoms of an elbow fracture may be one or all of the following:
● Severe pain and stiffness in the elbow
● Swelling, erythema (reddening of skin) and warmth of the skin
● Possible visible deformity of elbow
● A ‘pins and needles’ sensation that may extend down the forearm and into the hands if nerves are involved
● Loss of range of motion of complete inability to move the elbow joint
● Feeling of instability in elbowIf You Are Experiencing Symptoms, Schedule an Appointment Dr. Burke Orthopedics Immediately.
The only way to definitively confirm if you have broken a bone in the elbow is through imaging techniques, starting with an x-ray of the area. After an initial consultation with your orthopedic surgeon, an x-ray will be ordered if a fracture is suspected. If it is confirmed that you have broken a bone in the elbow, an MRI or CT scan of the elbow may be ordered in order to look at the area in greater detail and determine if there was any involvement of soft tissue damage caused by the injury.
With a fracture, immobilization is key to allow for healing of the tissues. Surgery is not always required in the case of a fracture. But, if surgery is needed, the area of the fracture and ensuing type of corrective surgery will be determined by the severity and type of fracture that you present with. Your elbow will be placed in the proper position in the case of a displaced fracture, and then will be placed in a cast for 6-8 weeks in order for healing to take place.
After a period of time and your doctor is confident that enough healing has occurred, your cast will be taken off and a course of physical therapy will be ordered to restore range of motion, strength, and function of the elbow.