(Broken Elbow; Elbow, Broken)
- Humerus—the upper arm bone
- Ulna—the larger of the forearm (lower arm) bones
- Radius—the smaller bone in the forearm
|The Elbow Joint|
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- Falling on an outstretched arm
- Falling directly on the elbow
- Experiencing a direct blow to the elbow
- Twisting the elbow beyond the normal range of motion
- Pain (often severe)
- Tenderness, swelling, and bruising around the elbow
- Numbness in fingers, hand, or forearm
- Decreased range of motion
- A lump or visible deformity over the fracture site
- Putting the pieces of the bone back in position, which may require anesthesia and/or surgery
- Keeping the pieces together while the bone heals
- A cast or splint (may be used with or without surgery)
- A metal plate with screws (requires surgery)
- Screws alone (requires surgery)
Start range-of-motion and
- Your doctor will tell you when you are ready to start exercising. You may be referred to a physical therapist.
- Do not return to sports until you are completely healed.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.aaos.org
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Broken arm. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/broken-arm/DS01001. Updated June 2009. Accessed July 21, 2009.
Elbow fractures in children. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00037. Updated October 2007. Accessed July 28, 2008.
Olecranon fractures of the elbow. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00503. Updated October 2007. Accessed July 28, 2008.
- Reviewer: John C. Keel, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/92/2012 -