Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Elbow Dislocation Anatomy

To better understand elbow dislocation, it helps to understand the anatomy of the elbow joint.

The elbow consists of three bones:

  • Humerus:
    • The large, long bone in the upper arm
    • The two prominent areas of the humerus on the inside and outside of the elbow are referred to as the epicondyles.
    • The muscles that raise the wrist and hand attach to the lateral epicondyle.
    • Muscles that flex the wrist attach to the medial epicondyle.
  • Radius:
    • One of the long bones in the forearm
  • Ulna:
    • One of the long bones in the forearm

These three bones are bonded together by strong bands, called ligaments. The ligaments, muscles and tendons keep the bones of the elbow together during movement.

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Elbow Dislocation References
  1. Lippe CN, Williams DP. Combined posterior and convergent elbow dislocations in an adult. A case report and review of the literature. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005 Jul;87(7):1597-600. [15995130]
  2. Rasool MN. Dislocations of the elbow in children. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2004 Sep;86(7):1050-8. [15446537]
  3. Rettig AC. Traumatic elbow injuries in the athlete. Orthop Clin North Am. 2002 Jul;33(3):509-22, v. [12483947]
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