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  • Writer's pictureDr. Terrell Joseph

Do You Have an Elbow Fracture?

An elbow fracture, more commonly known as a broken elbow, is a common injury in the Eagle and Summit County communities. Fractures can occur from a direct blow to the elbow, a fall, or an abnormal twisting of the arm.

In certain cases, a fractured elbow is obvious - such as with an open fracture where the bones break through the skin. Other types of fractures can be as simple as a small hairline fracture.

Different Types of Elbow Fractures

The elbow consists of three major bones:

  1. The upper arm bone (humerus), which runs from your elbow to your shoulder.

  2. The forearm bone - thumb side (radius)

  3. The forearm bone - pinky side (ulna)

Together, these bones make up the elbow joint. Ligaments, tendons, and muscles allow joint movement and help maintain stability.

An elbow fracture is a break that involves one or more of the bones that work together to form the elbow joint. Not all fractures are the same because there are numerous ways and locations where those bones could be damaged. Some of the different types of elbow fractures include:

  • Olecranon Fracture: Where the boney tip of the elbow breaks.

  • Supracondylar Fracture: A break in the humerus bone.

  • Epicondylar Fracture: Another break to the elbow tip, this time on the inside of the bone.

  • Radial Neck Fracture: Almost always caused by falling onto an outstretched hand, a radial neck fracture is a break to the radius bone in your forearm.

  • Forearm Fracture: Where the two bones of the forearm (radius and ulna) break.

X-rays are often needed to confirm where a fracture is present and if the bones are out of place. Sometimes a Computed Tomography scan might be ordered to get further detail. Treatment for a fractured elbow depends on the severity of the break.

Signs You Broke Your Elbow

Elbow fractures are usually easy to recognize. Although there are various ways to fracture your elbow, they typically present with the same symptoms:

  • Swelling

  • Bruising

  • Intense pain

  • Difficulting moving your arm

  • Immobility of the arm

  • Visible deformity

  • Numbness or weakness in the arm, hand, or elbow

An elbow fracture is an injury that needs immediate medical attention. Failing to see an orthopaedic physician could result in permanent damage.

Contact Vail Valley’s Premier Elbow Doctor Today

If you are experiencing any symptoms of a broken elbow, contact Dr. Joseph today! Dr. Joseph is the elbow expert in Vail and Frisco, Colorado. He and his team will examine your elbow, determine the extent of your injury, and discuss a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Contact our offices today at 970-476-7220 or request an appointment using our online platform.

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