A twisting injury to the elbow or a direct impact to the arm can cause elbow fractures. Dislocations, strains, and sprains could also coincide with a fragment. Doctors use X-rays to confirm whether bones are out of place or presence of a bruise. You might need to visit a computerized tomography website sometimes to get further details.
Neck and Radial Head Fractures
Forearm rotation causes the worst pain when an elbow fractures. Its treatment depends on the nature of the bone fragments. You may require elbow surgery to stabilize and repair multiple fractures and remove too bony pieces on the arm.
You require surgery to displace these types of fractures. It involves the realignment and attachment of bone fragments using screws, pins, plates, or wires.
Distal Humerus Fractures
These fractures are prevalent among the elderly and children. Distal humerus fractures are associated with artery and nerve injuries, and you need a doctor to evaluate them carefully. Doctors use screws or plates to repair these fractures unless they are stable.
Some of the signs of a possible elbow fracture include bruising, pain, stiffness, and pain around the arm. You may even feel or hear a pop or snap at the time of injury. Visible deformity would be a sign of elbow joint dislocation or indicate that bones are out of place. You might feel weak or numb in the hand, wrist, or arm.
Orthopedic surgeons often analyze X-rays, examine elbows, and conduct physical tests to diagnose the condition of your elbow. You may be asked to describe how you feel so that the surgeon may diagnose your fracture. The surgeon may also use a series of activities such as straightening and bending to test the range of motion and strength of your elbow joints. After that, your orthopedic surgeon may use X-rays to check any unusual circumstances such as the change in shape and size of your elbow. Discuss with your surgeon about the possibility of replacing your joint and the risks involved.
You probably require undergoing surgery if your fractures are unstable or out of place. A surgical procedure would help remove bone fragments or stabilize or replace the fragment. You may need urgent surgery to minimize the risk of infection and dress the wound whenever a fracture opens up or when the skin breaks over the injury.
Doctors use non-surgical treatments such as a splint, cast, and sling only when the bone is in the right position or when bones are at low risk of dislocating. Moreover, age is a critical factor when surgeons are treating elbow twists. Pediatricians often use casts for children as they are less likely to get elbow stiffness. In contrast, splints can’t be ideal for adults as they have a higher risk of developing stiffness. Your doctor may direct you to undergo rehabilitation to decrease the odds of developing elbow stiffness and maximize motion recovery. It may include splints, ultrasound, exercises, ice, heat, and scar massage to stretch the joint.