Elbow Fracture

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.

Elbow Fracture: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Elbow fractures occur when one or more of the bones in the elbow joint, including the humerus, radius, or ulna, break due to trauma or excessive force. Understanding the anatomy, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options is essential for effectively managing this type of injury.


The elbow joint is a complex structure formed by the humerus, radius, and ulna bones. Ligaments, tendons, and muscles work together to provide stability and allow for the proper functioning of the arm.


  1. Trauma: Falls, direct blows, or accidents leading to a significant force applied to the elbow.
  2. Sports Injuries: High-impact sports or activities that involve the risk of falls or collisions.
  3. Fracture Types: Elbow fractures can involve the olecranon, radial head, distal humerus, or a combination of these.


  1. Pain: Gradual onset of pain on the outer (tennis elbow) or inner (golfer’s elbow) side of the elbow.
  2. Weak Grip: Difficulty in gripping or holding objects.
  3. Stiffness: Stiffness in the elbow joint, especially in the morning.
  4. Tenderness: Tenderness around the affected epicondyle.
  5. Radiating Pain: Pain may radiate down the forearm.


  1. Clinical Examination: Assessment of symptoms, physical examination, and evaluation of grip strength.
  2. Imaging Studies: X-rays or MRI to rule out other conditions and assess the severity of the inflammation.

Treatment Options:

  1. Immobilization:

    a. Casting: For stable fractures, casting may be sufficient to promote healing. b. Splinting: Temporary splinting to provide initial support and immobilization.

  2. Closed Reduction:

    a. Non-surgical realignment performed by a healthcare professional.

  3. Surgical Intervention:

    a. Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF): Surgical realignment and fixation with screws, plates, or wires. b. External Fixation: Temporary fixation using external devices in complex fractures.

  4. Rehabilitation:

    a. Physical Therapy: Gradual introduction of range of motion and strengthening exercises. b. Functional Rehabilitation: Activities to restore normal use of the arm.


Pain management with over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers as needed.

Follow-up Care:

Regular follow-up appointments to monitor healing progress and adjust treatment as necessary.


Surgery is rarely needed but may be considered for persistent cases that do not respond to conservative measures.


  1. Protective Gear: Use of appropriate protective gear during sports or activities with a risk of elbow injury.
  2. Safety Measures: Implementing safety measures to reduce the risk of accidents and falls.


Elbow fractures are serious injuries that require prompt medical attention. Treatment options may vary depending on the type and severity of the fracture. Early diagnosis, proper immobilization or surgical intervention, and comprehensive rehabilitation are essential for a successful recovery. Seeking immediate medical care is crucial for individuals experiencing elbow pain, swelling, or deformity after a traumatic incident.

Related Conditions:

Radial Head Fracture

Monteggia Fracture

Olecranon Fracture

Elbow Sprain

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