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Elbow Fractures (Distal Humerus, Forearm, Radius, Ulna)


The elbow is a pretty tough part of the body⎯until it’s hit with strong force or a direct blow. Then it can break one or more of the three bones that comprise it: humerus, radius and ulna. Learn the symptoms and treatment options for this condition.

Causes & Triggers

  • Falls (especially with outstretched arm)
  • Direct hit or blow
  • High-impact collision
  • Sports injuries

Signs & Symptoms

  • Apparent deformity or bone protrusion
  • Bruising
  • Limited ability or inability to move elbow
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Sensation of instability
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Tips & Treatment

  • Seek medical treatment after an elbow injury, especially if there’s a lot of pain, or if moving the elbow becomes difficult or impossible.
  • Non-surgical treatment may involve immobilizing the joint with a splint or sling and physical therapy.
  • If the bone is out of place, surgical intervention with or without metal plates and screws may be necessary.

Related Specialties

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