Elbow Fracture Repair
The elbow is an important joint that links the upper and lower arm together. When an elbow fracture occurs due to a fall, sports injury or trauma, the team of specialists at OrthoBethesda at our Bethesda, MD, facility may recommend elbow fracture repair after a thorough examination.
What Is an Elbow Fracture?
When any of the three bones that make up the elbow are broken, an elbow fracture has occurred. Many times, a strain, sprain or dislocation may also occur along with the fracture.
What Signs Indicate an Elbow Fracture?
If you discover swelling, stiffness, bruising or intense pain around your elbow when you have an injury, you may have a fracture. Other signs of an elbow fracture include:
- A pop or snap sound when the injury takes place
- An opening in the skin showing that the bone has been exposed to the air outside
- An obvious change in the shape of the elbow joint showing that the bones have been displaced or dislocated
How Are Elbow Fractures Diagnosed?
When you come to see our doctors at OrthoBethesda with an injured elbow, you’ll be taken into one of our physical therapy rooms, where your elbow will be handled in the most soothing and comfortable way. We'll take X-rays of the affected elbow and examine the proofs to know if you actually have a fracture or just a displacement of the bones. If we discover you have a fracture, we may take a CT scan to get finer details about the fracture and joint surface.
What Are My Options for Elbow Fracture Treatment in Maryland?
The type of treatment we offer varies depending on the patient’s age and the kind of fracture. An elbow fracture may be either stable or unstable. A stable fracture means that the elbow can be still be moved, but an unstable fracture is quite severe and will require surgery to restore stability to the joint.
In adults, we prefer to use conservative treatment techniques for stable fractures. We offer non-surgical treatment procedures, for instance. But for unstable fractures, surgery is necessary to stabilize and realign the bone fragments.
Urgent elbow fracture surgery is also required any time the skin is broken. It helps sterilize the bone and prevent infection. Surgery for a wrist fracture is usually an outpatient procedure, but it may also be carried out in the hospital.
After the initial treatment, we use physical therapy to maximize motion. Our therapist will help you or your loved one perform range-of-motion exercises. We also offer other forms of therapy, like heat treatment, ultrasound and scar massage. When the bones are at low risk of going out of place, we use a cast or sling.
In children, we perform surgery on unstable fractures and then place the elbow in a cast to aid healing. Children don’t usually have problems with joint stiffness, so formal physiotherapy isn’t necessary to restore the full range of motion.
Learn More About Elbow Fracture Repair at OrthoBethesda
If you have pain or tenderness in your elbow joint, contact OrthoBethesda by giving us a call at (301) 530-1010 right away. We’ll schedule you to see any of our highly skilled orthopedic doctors. Elbow fracture treatment is only available at our Bethesda clinic in Maryland.