Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Elbow Fracture Overview

What is an elbow fracture?
A person with an elbow fracture has broken one of bones that make up the elbow joint. The elbow joint is made up of three bones: the humerus (upper arm), radius, and ulna. Falls and sports injuries are the most common causes for elbow fractures.

What are the symptoms of an elbow fracture?
Symptoms of an elbow fracture may include elbow pain, elbow swelling, bruising, and tenderness. The elbow may appear deformed. Other symptoms include hand numbness (unilateral) or hand weakness (unilateral).

How does the doctor treat an elbow fracture?
The treatment for an elbow fracture depends on the severity of the injury. Treatment for elbow fracture may include rest, elevation, cold compresses, and immobilization in a cast or splint. Surgery may be required for some elbow fractures.

Continue to Elbow Fracture Symptoms

Last Updated: Sep 10, 2010 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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