This injury is caused by trauma from:
- Falling directly on the elbow
- A direct blow to the elbow
- Falling on an outstretched arm
- A motor vehicle accident
Symptoms may be:
- Pain that is worse with movement
- Swelling and bruising
- Problems moving the arm
- Numbness in the fingers, hand, or arm
- A change in the way the elbow looks
Bones take about 8 to 10 weeks to fully heal. Treatment will help to manage pain and support the bone as it heals. This may include:
- Medicine to ease pain
- A cast, splint, or sling to keep the elbow in place as it heals
- Exercises to help with strength and range of motion
Children's bones are still growing. A child with a fracture may need to be checked more often to make sure the bone heals well and keeps growing.
Putting Bones Back In Place
Some fractures cause pieces of bone to come apart. These pieces will need to be put back into place. This may be done:
- Without surgery—medicine will decrease pain while the doctor moves the pieces back into place. A cast or other device will help keep bones in place.
- With surgery—cuts will be made in the skin to reach the bones. Pins, wires, plates, or screws will be used to connect broken sections of bone. Tendons or ligaments may also need to be repaired.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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