What is it?
An elbow fracture is a break in the bones that make up the elbow.
Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors
Elbow fractures are caused by trauma to the elbow joint, usually during a fall or an accident. Since several main nerves travel through the elbow joint, an elbow fracture may also lead to nerve damage. Likewise, there are blood vessels in the elbow that may be damaged during a fracture. Symptoms of an elbow fracture include:
- Intense pain and tenderness
- Swelling and bruising in the elbow area
- Inability to straighten elbow
- Numbness in the fingers
A doctor will examine the elbow and review symptoms, and take X-rays to identify a fracture.
Treatments range from splinting minor fractures to keep the elbow stable while it heals to surgery in more severe cases when the fracture is displaced or has broken the skin.