An elbow fracture is a break in one or more of the bones that make up the elbow joint. The elbow joint is made of 2 forearm bones and 1 upper arm bone.
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This injury is caused by trauma from:
The risk of fracture is higher in those with:
Symptoms may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms, past health, and how the injury happened. Images may be taken with:
Bones take about 8 to 10 weeks to fully heal. Treatment will help to manage pain and support the bone as it heals. This may include:
Children's bones are still growing. A child with a fracture may need to be checked more often to make sure the bone heals well and keeps growing.
Some fractures cause pieces of bone to come apart. These pieces will need to be put back into place. This may be done:
Most fractures are due to accidents. Healthy muscles may help to prevent more severe injuries.
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Distal radius fracture—emergency management. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/distal-radius-fracture-emergency-management. Accessed September 24, 2020.
Elbow fractures in children. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00037. Accessed September 24, 2020.
Elbow (olecranon) fractures. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00503. Accessed September 24, 2020.
Niver GE, Ilyas AM. Carpal tunnel syndrome after distal radius fracture. Orthop Clin North Am. 2012 Oct;43(4):521-527.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM Last Updated: 10/19/2020