Elbow Fractures - Carrollton TX
Dr. Mitchell F. Fagelman is a renowned orthopedic surgeon practicing in Carrolton, TX. He specializes in providing treatment for elbow pain, fractures and other injuries such as Bursitis, muscle strains, pinched nerve, UCL injury etc. His area of expertise also lies in treating various medical conditions of the shoulder and upper extremities.

Elbow Fractures

Elbow joint is made of three bones, namely Radius, Ulna and Humerus. These bones help in the straightening and bending of the elbow. Radius is a forearm bone between the wrist and the elbow. Ulna is also a forearm bone amid the wrist and the elbow, running along the Radius. Humerus is the bone of the upper arm between the elbow and the shoulder. A fractured elbow is the one that has a break or injury in one or more of these bones.

Causes of Elbow Fractures

  • Fall with an outstretched arm
  • Falling straight on the elbow
  • Bending the elbow more that its normal range
  • Direct or indirect blow to the elbow
  • Trauma during a motor vehicle collision
  • Direct injury to the hand, wrist or shoulder

Risk Factors for Elbow Fractures

  • Osteoporosis
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Conditions that weaken the bones, such as cysts or tumors
  • Indulging in certain sports like hockey, football, gymnastics or wrestling
  • Certain medical conditions that can lead to mineral loss, like absent or irregular menstrual cycle, or post-menopausal syndrome.

Symptoms of Elbow Fractures

  • Swelling above or below the injured area
  • Visible Distortion in the normal shape of the joint
  • Bruising or discoloration at the site of the injury
  • Difficulty in moving and straightening the arm
  • Numbness or decreased sensation
  • Intense elbow pain and tenderness
  • Tight sensation

Diagnosis of Elbow Fractures

To diagnose an elbow fracture, the orthopedic surgeon may examine the physical symptoms of the patient. He may also conduct certain imaging tests, such as X-rays and CT scan, to evaluate the extent of the damage caused due to the injury.

Treatment of Elbow Fractures

The orthopedic doctor may opt for non-surgical or surgical treatment to treat an elbow fracture.

Non-Surgical Treatment: This involves the use of a cast or splint to support the elbow till it restores completely. The physician might conduct regular X-rays to ensure that the joint is healing properly. If, after two or three weeks, all the bones are at the right place, the doctor may ask the patient to gently begin moving the elbow. However, he must not lift anything or put strain on the joint. The non-surgical treatment for elbow fractures may require varied periods of splinting, depending upon the severity of the injury.

Surgical Treatment: Surgery is usually required if the fracture is displaced (the bones are out of place) or open (the skin has been cut open by the bones). The procedure typically involves making an incision in the elbow and putting the bone pieces back and hold them with pins, screws, plates or sutures.

Prevention of Elbow Fractures

  • Wear protective gear while playing sports
  • Maintain appropriate levels of Vitamin D in your diet to keep the bones strong
  • Regular muscle strengthening and stretching exercises can help increase balance and lower the risk of falling.
  • Do not stress or strain your muscles beyond their normal range.  

For comprehensive treatment of elbow fractures, contact Dr. Fagelman. To request an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, call at (972) 492 – 1334.