Elbow Dislocation

Health Plus Physical Therapy Center

Physical Therapy center located at 2114 Oak Tree Rd, Edison, NJ 08820

At Health Plus, we provide tailored therapy services to address various conditions and injuries. Our goal is to help you regain mobility, alleviate pain, and enhance your well-being. With advanced techniques and compassionate care, we’re here to support your journey to recovery.

Understanding Elbow Dislocation:

Elbow dislocation occurs when the bones of the forearm (radius and ulna) are forced out of alignment with the humerus, causing the elbow joint to lose its normal anatomical position. This can result in pain, swelling, and limited range of motion. Here’s a comprehensive guide to understanding and managing elbow dislocation.


The elbow joint is a hinge joint formed by the humerus (upper arm bone), radius, and ulna (forearm bones). Ligaments, tendons, and muscles provide stability and allow for flexion and extension of the arm.


  1. Trauma or Injury: Direct impact or force applied to the elbow, commonly seen in falls, accidents, or sports-related injuries.
  2. Hyperextension: Forceful over-straightening of the elbow joint beyond its normal range.
  3. Twisting Movements: Sudden rotational forces applied to the forearm.


  1. Severe Pain: Immediate and intense pain at the time of injury.
  2. Swelling: Rapid swelling around the elbow joint.
  3. Deformity: Visible deformity or abnormal appearance of the elbow.
  4. Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty in bending or straightening the elbow.
  5. Numbness or Tingling: Possible nerve injury may cause sensations of numbness or tingling.


  1. Clinical Examination: Evaluation of symptoms, physical assessment, and assessment of neurovascular status.
  2. X-rays: Imaging studies to confirm the dislocation and assess for any associated fractures.

Treatment Options:

  1. Immediate Reduction:

    • Closed Reduction: Non-surgical realignment of the bones by a healthcare professional, often performed under anesthesia.
    • Open Reduction: Surgical realignment may be necessary for complex dislocations.
  2. Immobilization:

    • Bracing or Splinting: Immobilizing the elbow with a brace or splint to allow for healing.
    • Sling Usage: Keeping the arm in a sling to restrict movement and support the joint.
  3. Physical Therapy:

    • Range of Motion Exercises: Gradual introduction of exercises to improve joint mobility.
    • Strength Training: Targeted exercises to regain muscle strength.
    • Functional Rehabilitation: Activities to restore normal use of the arm.


Rehabilitation is crucial for restoring elbow function, strength, and preventing stiffness.


  1. Protective Gear: Use of appropriate protective gear during sports or activities with a risk of elbow injury.
  2. Strength and Flexibility Training: Regular exercises to strengthen and maintain flexibility in the arm muscles.
  3. Proper Technique: Ensuring proper technique during physical activities to reduce the risk of injury.


Elbow dislocation is a serious injury that requires prompt medical attention. Early diagnosis, proper reduction, and comprehensive rehabilitation are essential for a successful recovery. Seeking immediate medical care is crucial for individuals experiencing elbow pain, swelling, or deformity after an injury.

Related Conditions:

Elbow Fracture

Ulnar Nerve Entrapment (Cubital Tunnel Syndrome)

Radial Head Fracture

Elbow Bursitis

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