Common Arm and Elbow Injuries and Treatment
Common injuries to the arm and elbow can include fractures, sprains, tendon tears and dislocation. We specialize in arm and elbow problems including sprains, fractures and other injuries as well as diseases and syndromes such as elbow bursitis, osteoarthritis, and tennis elbow. The elbow is a complicated joint. It is both a ball and socket joint and a hinge joint allowing two separate motions-bending and rotating.
Injuries to and dislocations of the elbow can affect either or both of these unique motions. At DFP, our orthopaedic surgeons are experts at joint surgery, joint reconstruction, and total joint replacement. If you need orthopaedic surgery, our physicians are some of the finest subspecialty orthopedists in America. Our doctors use the latest technology including elbow arthroscopy to diagnose problems in the joint before performing orthopaedic surgery.
With fractures, bones can break in different ways. You may have a slight crack, or the bone can be broken through completely. Also, the bone can break into many pieces. Sometimes bones stay in place and other times the two or more pieces may not line up. An open fracture occurs when the bone breaks through the skin or an injury goes all the way to the broken bone. Immediate treatment is critical as this is an infection risk.
The most common cause of broken bones in arms is falling on an outstretched arm, a blow to the arm, or an automobile accident. Symptoms include immediate pain, possible deformity (especially if both forearm bones are broken), swelling, bruising, inability to rotate hand and on rare occasions, weakness or numbness in the wrist or fingers. Broken bones are x-rayed and set in a cast. If orthopaedic surgery is necessary, you are in the best hands with Drisko, Fee & Parkins.
Elbow Fractures & Joint Pain
The elbow is made up of three bones – the humerus or upper arm bone, and the radius and ulna in the lower arm. An elbow can break at many different places. The humerus can break above the elbow, or the bony knob at the end of the humerus or on the inside of the elbow can break. Fractures can also happen near the end of the bone where the growth plates are. This can be of special concern in children. A dislocation can break off the head of the radius bone or cause a fracture of the ulna.
Most fractures around the elbow joint occur when the person falls on an outstretched arm. No matter where the break is, the symptoms of a broken elbow are the same – acute pain in the joint and forearm and occasionally numbness in the hand. Elbow fractures can be tricky to diagnose and set. Our doctors and physicians may recommend pins, plates, and screws to keep the bones in place. Occasionally, an external hinge may be required until the joint is completely healed. Our orthopaedic surgeons will know the best way to treat any elbow problem.
Elbow Dislocation & Surgery
Elbow dislocations usually occur when a person falls onto an outstretched hand. The force of the hand hitting the ground goes straight to the elbow. If the hand is turned, the force can drive the elbow out of its socket. Elbow dislocations are not very common. If not caused by a fall, they usually happen in car accidents when people try to brace themselves for an impact. There are two types of elbow dislocations – complete and partial. A complete elbow dislocation is very obvious because the arm will look deformed and it will be very painful.
With partial elbow dislocation, the bones can relocate correctly making the joint appear normal. If ligaments are stretched or torn, partial dislocations can recur over time. Simple dislocations have no broken bones. A complex dislocation can cause injury to bones, ligaments, muscles, and even blood vessels. Some dislocations can be treated non-surgically, but others may require othopaedic surgery and physical therapy. Our physicians are the best at diagnosing and repairing joint problems.
When you have arm or elbow joint pain, trust the physicians at Drisko, Fee & Parkins Arm and Elbow Orthopaedics to treat you quickly and expertly with state-of-the-art orthopaedic care. From diagnosis, to therapy to orthopaedic surgery, our expert doctors will have you moving again in no time.