Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Elbow Fracture Anatomy

To better understand elbow fracture, 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: Mar 16, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Elbow Fracture References
  1. Ring D, Jupiter JB. Fracture-dislocation of the elbow. Hand Clin. 2002 Feb;18(1):55-63. [12143418]
  2. Saati AZ, McKee MD. Fracture-dislocation of the elbow: diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Hand Clin. 2004 Nov;20(4):405-14. [15539096]
  3. Skaggs DL, Mirzayan R. The posterior fat pad sign in association with occult fracture of the elbow in children. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1999 Oct;81(10):1429-33. [10535592]
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