Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Elbow Fracture Treatment

The treatment for elbow fractures depends on the severity of the injury and the type of fracture. Treatment for an elbow fracture usually includes rest, elevation, cold compresses, and immobilization in a cast or splint. Surgery may be required for some elbow fractures.

Treatment for elbow fracture may include:

  • Cold compresses on the elbow
  • Rest the elbow.
  • With some elbow injuries you may wish to wear a sling for comfort:
    • Long term immobilization in a sling can lead to frozen shoulder.
    • If you wear a shoulder sling for longer than two weeks make sure you perform shoulder range of motion exercises twice a day to avoid frozen shoulder.
  • Elbow cast
  • Elbow splint
  • Elevate the arm:
    • Above the heart if possible
  • Narcotic pain medication
  • Surgery for elbow fracture
  • Physical therapy for elbow fracture

For more information:

Elbow Fracture Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of an elbow fracture.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • Will I need occupational therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this injury again?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Elbow Fracture Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat elbow fractures:

Continue to Elbow Fracture Home Care

Last Updated: Dec 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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