Suffering an elbow injury is frustrating. You won’t be able to take part in your everyday activities, won’t be able to lift your children or grandchildren, won’t be able to carry groceries, use tools, or do much else that requires the use of the affected arm. The pain and inconvenience can be frustrating. If you exhibit symptoms of an elbow fracture it’s best that you consult an orthopedic surgeon immediately. This will ensure that you get the treatment you need so you can begin to heal properly. OrthoBethesda can provide you with the most qualified orthopedic surgeons to help you diagnose and treat your elbow injury or fractures, pain in your shoulder, joint pain, and other conditions.
Signs of an Elbow Fracture
If you have suffered an injury to your arm, you might have an elbow fracture. If the following symptoms are present, it may be time to seek treatment:
- Swelling on the back of the elbow (tip)
- You heard a pop when you suffered an injury
- Bruising on or around the elbow
- Bruising can travel down the arm to the wrist
- Tender to the touch
- Numbness in your fingers
- Pain when moving your elbow or rotating your forearm
- A feeling that your elbow is going to pop out
Causes of an Elbow Fracture
Elbow fractures often occur because of the following:
- Falling and hitting the elbow directly
- The elbow receives a direct blow from another person or object
- Falling and having an outstretched arm to brace for impact
Elbow Fracture Diagnosis and Treatment
If you have suffered an injury to your elbow, you might require surgical treatment or physical therapy to fix the issue. However, the correct course of action cannot be determined until you meet with an orthopedic surgeon from OrthoBethesda.
An examination will include the following:
- The area of skin around the elbow will be checked for abrasions and cuts
- The doctor will feel the area around the elbow for tenderness
- Check your pulse using your wrist to make sure blood is flowing properly to your hand and fingers
- Ask you to move your hand and fingers around and make sure you can feel things with your fingers
Surgical Options for an Elbow Fracture
Depending on the age and health of the patient and type of fracture, there are different treatments, both surgical and non-surgical, available when dealing with elbow injuries in Virginia. Of course, the most severe injuries will require a surgical procedure from a specialist to repair your elbow.
An injured elbow will either be stable or unstable. A stable elbow is one that can still move around and might heal with rest, pain medication, and other treatments. An unstable elbow is the most severe type of elbow injury and almost always requires surgery by a specialist to repair it.
If you are an adult who suffered a stable elbow fracture, our team will always prefer to use non-surgical treatment options. These include cortisone shots, pain medication, placing your arm in a splint to hold the arm in place, physical therapy, heat application, ice, and rest.
Surgery will be required almost all the time when you suffer an unstable elbow fracture. Urgent surgery is necessary when you suffer an elbow fracture and the skin is broken at the same time. Surgery helps prevent an infection from developing and sterilizes the bone and protects the ulnar nerve.
Risk Factors Associated with Elbow Fracture Surgery
As with any type of surgery, there will be risks associated with undergoing elbow fracture surgery. These risks include the following:
- Nerve damage
- Joint stiffness (common)
- Joint instability
- Bone misalignment
- Complications from anesthesia
- Broken screws or plates
- Arthritis of the joint (months to years later)
There is a slight risk that the fracture will not heal correctly, which could require you to undergo the procedure again to repair any lingering issues. Our sports medicine team and orthopedic specialists can discuss these risks with you further when you schedule an appointment at our treatment clinic in VA.
The risk of complications will also vary based on your age, health, the anatomy of the fracture in your elbow, and any other medical conditions present. Patients who have diabetes or low bone mass could experience more complications than someone who does not suffer from these medical issues. As with all surgical treatments, there are common risks.
Preparing for Surgery
The majority of elbow fracture surgeries performed at our center are done so in an emergency because of the severity of the injury. This leaves you very little time to prepare for the treatment. If you are conscious, please provide the nurse with the list of medications you are currently taking, any allergies to medication or anesthesia, and other pertinent information. All of this information can help the doctors deal with the conditions presented. A specialist will likely be sent for an X-ray or MRI prior to undergoing surgery for a tennis injury.
Schedule an Appointment to Repair Your Elbow Fracture Today
The longer you leave an elbow fracture untreated, the worse the symptoms can get, including the level of pain you will experience. Our surgical center in Arlington, VA offers various treatments for elbow fracture repair. Call us today at (301) 530-1010 to schedule an appointment with a doctor regarding the conditions you’ve experienced since suffering your injury. We build treatments for our patients on an individual basis. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for an elbow fracture. Our team of specialists can perform a variety of surgical treatments for your injury. If you are near Arlington, or the surrounding areas, visit one of our qualified and recommended sports medicine surgeons at our Virginia clinic today to treat common sports injuries and fractures to your elbow, shoulder, other related and common joint injuries.