The capitellum is a rounded protuberance on the end of the humerus or upper arm bone. Capitellum fractures are rare injuries of the elbow, usually seen in adolescents, caused by direct trauma or a fall on to the outstretched hand. Surgery is usually required for displaced fractures of the capitellum, and un-displaced fractures may be splinted. Dr. Steven Struhl is a top orthopedic surgeon with clinics in New York City and Westchester, NY. He offers capitellum fracture treatment to relieve pain and restore elbow function.
The elbow is both a hinge and pivot joint, allowing the arm to bend as well as turn the hand and wrist. The capitellum plays a significant role in the pivot function of the elbow, creating the “ball” of the pivoting ball-and-socket part of the elbow joint. Fractures to this portion of the humerus are rare. They account for an estimated 1% of elbow fractures and 6% of distal humerus fractures. When they do occur, it is important to be treated by an orthopedic surgeon who has experience with these rare injuries to ensure the best results for recovery.
Causes and Symptoms of Capitellum Fractures
The capitellum is at the end of the humerus, resting inside the ulna in the elbow. To fracture this portion of the bone, extreme force must be put on the elbow. Most capitellum fractures occur when falling on an outstretched arm. This can occur while playing sports or running, creating enough velocity to fracture the bone. Symptoms include:
- Immediate, intense elbow pain
- Swelling at the elbow
- Deformity of the elbow
Dr. Steven Struhl has been in private practice as an orthopedic and sports medicine surgeon for over two decades. If you need capitellum fracture treatment, Dr. Struhl has the experience and expertise needed for both surgical and non-surgical elbow repairs. Contact Shoulders & Knees orthopedics in NYC or Westchester to schedule an appointment for an elbow fracture consultation with Dr. Struhl.