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Elbow Fractures

Elbow fractures happen more often than you might think. Children are especially prone to elbow fractures, making up ten percent of all fractures in children, most likely due to their high activity level. The same is true for adults. Because many people use their arms to brace their fall, the elbows are often a point of impact.

About the Elbow Joint

The elbow joint is made up of three bones that connect. These bones, the humerus, radius, and ulna, are responsible for rotating the wrists and palms and bending and straightening the arm.


The humerus connects from the shoulder to the elbow.


The radius connects from the elbow to the wrist on the thumb side of the forearm.


The ulna connects the elbow to the wrist on the pinky side of the forearm.

Common Types of Elbow Fractures Treated at Atlanta Hand Specialist

There are several different types of common elbow fractures:

Monteggia Fractures

This type of fracture occurs when the ulna has a fracture and the radial head dislocates from the elbow joint. This fracture causes significant pain and swelling.

Physeal Fractures

These fractures occur through the growth plate and can be in the humerus, radius, or ulna. This fracture can affect the growth of the bone, especially in children, so it’s important to seek treatment immediately.

Epicondylar Fractures

Epicondylar fractures occur at the tip of the bony prominences on the inside and outside of the elbow. These fractures can occur through overuse or regular stress to a bone.

Condylar Fractures

Occurring in the humerus, this fracture involves the joint surface, typically on the outer part of the elbow. This fracture also takes a longer time to heal.

Symptoms of an Elbow Fracture

Typical symptoms of elbow fractures include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Stiffness
  • Crookedness of the bone
  • Inability to straighten the elbow
  • Pain when straightening or bending the elbow

Some people might hear or feel a pop or snap on impact. If you believe you have sustained an elbow fracture, it’s important to ice the area, elevate it above the heart, and call Atlanta Hand Specialist to schedule an appointment.

Treatment for Elbow Fractures

Depending on the severity of the fracture, treatments for elbow fractures vary.

Elbow Injury Treatment at Atlanta Hand SpecialistX-rays and scans are necessary to determine the extent of the damage to the elbow and surrounding bones. The physician may also prescribe pain medicine and anti-inflammatory medication.

If the fracture is compound, where the skin is broken and the bone has splintered through the skin, the physician will cleanse the wound and surgery will most likely be necessary to remove broken bone fragments and to reset the bones.

Ligaments, tendons, and muscles might also be damaged during the fracture and may require surgery. More minor fractures may require a sling or a cast depending on the severity of the break and the age of the patient.

Almost all fractures require physical therapy to regain full range of motion and flexibility. It also helps to restore strength in the hand and forearm.

Treat Elbow Fractures at Atlanta Hand Specialist

If you’ve sustained an elbow fracture, make an appointment with the board-certified surgeons at Atlanta Hand Specialist. We have multiple locations across the metro Atlanta area and offer same-day appointments. Call us at (770) 333-7888 today!

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