When you touch the point of your elbow, the protruding bony knob is your olecranon. This is the top of the ulna bone, the larger, outside forearm bone. One of the most common types of elbow fractures is the olecranon fracture, due to its outside position. A direct blow to the outside of the elbow or a residual injury from a fall can cause an olecranon fracture. Treatment for these common elbow fractures is available through Dr. Steven Struhl, an experienced orthopedic surgeon with clinics in NYC and Westchester.
Causes and Symptoms of a Broken Olecranon
The olecranon is known as the “funny bone,” and hitting it can cause a painful sensation due to irritating the ulnar nerve that runs underneath it. However, there is nothing funny about an olecranon fracture. Auto accidents, sports injuries and falls can cause a simple or complex fracture of the olecranon. Symptoms of an olecranon fracture include immediate pain, followed by swelling and possible deformity of the elbow.
Fractures can be as simple as just a crack in the bone. Displaced olecranon fractures can result in two or more pieces of bone that are no longer stable or aligned. The fractures, if stable, are treated using an immobilizing splint followed by a regimen of motion exercises. However, severe fractures require surgical repair. Orthopedic surgery for repairing a complex or displaced olecranon fracture can include using plates or screws to stabilize the bones. Both surgical and non-surgical olecranon fracture repairs usually require a cast or brace to immobilize the elbow during healing, followed by physical therapy.
If your olecranon is fractured, choose an orthopedic specialist for your elbow fracture treatment. Contact us at Shoulders & Knees orthopedics to schedule an exam and consultation with our experienced orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Steven Struhl. We have convenient locations in UES New York City and Westchester.