Elbow Fractures

Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine

Sports Medicine Physicians & Pulmonologist located in Metairie, LA

Each year, thousands of Americans experience elbow fractures because of falls, sports injuries, and car accidents. At the Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine in Metairie, Louisiana, Luis Espinoza, MD, and his team provide complete care for elbow fractures. After determining the severity and location of your elbow fracture, they can make custom treatment recommendations. Call the office to receive treatment for an elbow fracture, or book online today.

Elbow Fractures Q&A

What are elbow fractures?

An elbow fracture occurs when one of the three bones in your elbow joint gets damaged because of trauma. 

At the Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine, the team treats several types of elbow fractures, including:

Olecranon fractures

An olecranon fracture occurs at the tip of your elbow. The olecranon is part of the ulna, one of the two bones in your arm. It’s susceptible to injury because it’s not protected by muscle or other soft tissues.

Distal humerus fractures

The distal humerus connects your elbow to your shoulder. Though rare, these fractures tend to occur if you fall down and catch yourself with a bent elbow.

Radial head fractures

The radial head is the part of your elbow that connects to your upper arm bone. If you fall and catch yourself with outstretched hands, the radial head might push into your upper arm, resulting in a fracture.

What are the symptoms of elbow fractures?

The symptoms of elbow fractures include:

  • Swelling near the back of the elbow
  • Elbow stiffness
  • Bruising 
  • Numbness
  • Sensitivity
  • Pain when rotating your arm

If you have a fractured elbow, it might also feel like your elbow joint is about to “pop out” of its socket.

How are elbow fractures diagnosed?

To diagnose elbow fractures, the team at the Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms. Next, they complete a physical exam. The team checks your elbow’s range of motion and assesses your pulse to ensure there is good circulation to your fingers. 

They also gently press on your elbow and the surrounding skin to identify sensitive areas. Last, the team orders diagnostic imaging, like X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI, to check for broken bones or soft tissue damage.

How are elbow fractures treated?

Treatment of elbow fractures depends on various factors, including the severity of the fracture and the symptoms you’re experiencing.

If your bones are still in alignment, the team might prescribe immobilization with a cast or a splint. Wearing a cast or a splint holds your arm in alignment while your bone and the surrounding tissues heal.

If you have a displaced fracture and your bones are no longer aligned, the team might recommend surgery. During surgery, the team uses screws, plates, or pins to hold your bones in the proper position. After surgery, your bones fuse together.

To learn more about the treatment options for elbow fractures, call the Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine or book online today.