Initially, elbow fractures will be treated with ice, pain medicine, a splint, and a sling to keep the elbow in position. Because not all fractures require surgery, treatment options will be discussed once the injury has been examined.
Elbow fracture surgery is usually necessary when the fracture is out of place (displaced) or when pieces of bone have cut the skin (open fracture.) Because the triceps muscles help straighten the elbow, it is important for the pieces to be put together when displaced so the patient can straighten his/her elbow. An open fracture, on the other hand, comes with a high risk of infection. Patients will undergo surgery so that the cuts can be thoroughly cleaned out. The bone will typically be fixed during the same procedure.
The surgeon will typically make an incision over the back of the elbow and then put the pieces of bone back together. There are several ways to hold the pieces of bone in place, including pins/wires, screws only, plates and screws, and sutures.
After surgery, the patient’s elbow may be splinted or casted for a short period of time. The patient may wear a sling if it provides comfort, and pain medications are usually provided. The stitches are usually removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. Moreover, the patient should not be lifting objects with the injured arms for at least six weeks. Motion exercises for the elbow and forearm should begin shortly after surgery.
Dr. Ackerman is a fellowship-trained elbow fracture expert. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please call (516) 243-8506 today.
1600 Stewart Ave - Suite 100 - Westbury, NY 11590 Copyright 2014. George P. Ackerman, MD, Long Island Orthopedic Surgeon. All Rights Reserved.
Phone: (516) 243-8506 - Fax: (516) 745-1189
The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician’s judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care, orthopedic surgery and sports medicine decisions. Please call us with any questions.