Elbow dislocation injuries are not common, but dislocation can occur when enough stress is put on the bones of the elbow. The three arm bones, the humerus (upper arm), radius and ulna (forearm bones), connect at the elbow and are held in place by strong ligaments. When trauma occurs to the elbow, it is possible for one or more bones to be dislocated. Dr. Steven Struhl is an experienced orthopedic and sports medicine surgeon who offers elbow dislocation treatment at his clinics in NYC and Westchester.
Types of Elbow Dislocation Injuries
Elbow dislocations can be simple, complex or severe. The most common cause of an elbow dislocation injury is trauma to an outstretched arm. This can occur when falling on an outstretched arm or during an auto accident, putting enough force on the forearm bones to shove them out of the elbow joint configuration. The level of dislocation depends on a few different factors.
- Simple – A simple elbow dislocation involves a partial or complete misalignment of the bones without damage to the bones.
- Complex– A complex elbow dislocation involves injury to the bones and ligaments of the elbow.
- Severe – A complex elbow dislocation with injury to blood vessels or nerves is considered severe and can result in the loss of the arm.
While simple elbow dislocations can spontaneously realign without medical care, there can be lingering pain, swelling and bruising. Complex and severe elbow dislocations require emergency medical care and ongoing treatment.
Elbow dislocation treatment depends on the severity of injuries to the bones, ligaments, nerves and other soft tissues. Non-surgical treatments include closed reduction to realign the bones, immobilization and physical therapy. For severe or complex elbow dislocations, surgery may be required to repair damaged bones and ligaments, as well as realignment of the elbow joint.
If you suffer from an elbow dislocation injury, contact Shoulders & Knees today for advanced treatment options. We can schedule an appointment with Dr. Struhl at our Westchester or NYC clinic for an evaluation of your elbow injury.