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Elbow Fractures Specialist

Orthopedic Specialists -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic Specialists

Orthopedic Surgeons located in Palm Harbor, FL

Elbow Fractures Q & A

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How common are elbow fractures?

The elbow is a complex joint. Fractures to this joint usually result from a fall, sports injury, or accident. There are many types of fractures and, of course, various degrees of severity. The three most common elbow fractures are:

  • Radial head/neck fractures: Fractures on the tip of the radius bone can occur with elbow dislocation (when the bones come out of the socket) or more commonly when you extend your arm to break a fall.
  • Olecranon fracture: The olecranon is the bony tip of the elbow and part of the ulna and is vulnerable to fracture with an impact directly to the elbow. 
  • Distal humerus fracture: The distal or lower end of the humerus or arm bone can be injured with more significant trauma. These fractures are often more disruptive to the function of the joint and usually require surgery to maintain function of the elbow.

What’s the difference between a fracture and a break? 

There is no difference between the two terms and they can be used interchangeably.

What are the symptoms of a fractured elbow? 

The most common signs of fracture after an injury are pain and swelling.  Bruising can occur quickly or can take several days to be visible.  Joint motion is often preserved with many fractures of the elbow and the ability to move the joint after an injury is not always a positive sign. It is important to get x-rays quickly if you suspect a fracture; waiting could lead to surgery or a poor outcome.

How are fractures diagnosed and treated?

Accurate diagnosis of fractures requires appropriate x-rays. Even when some x-rays have already been obtained in the urgent care or emergency room setting, additional x-rays may be necessary.  Our board-certified, fellowship-trained doctor will perform a thorough physical examination and take the appropriate x-rays to determine the type and severity of the fracture. Simple elbow fractures are usually treated with splinting or bracing and early physical therapy.  A displaced fracture where the ends of the bone are separated often disrupts the elbow joint and usually requires surgery. Our doctor will clearly explain your condition and recommend the best treatment option for your fracture.

Contact Orthopedic Specialists for accurate diagnosis and cutting-edge advanced treatment of all elbow conditions.

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