Elbow Dislocation

An elbow dislocation is an injury that is caused when the bones of the forearm shift out of place compared with the bone of the arm. Thus, the elbow joint becomes dislocated. It’s also known as Nursemaid’s Elbow or Slipped Elbow in children.

Elbow dislocation is a serious injury and immediate medical attention should be sought for its treatment.

 Cause of Elbow Dislocation 

This injury is most common in very children usually of age 5 or below can be seen in adults too.

The various causes of most elbow dislocations could be (not limited to):

  • Sudden fall over the elbow
  • Elbow twist in an accident
  • Fall on an outstretched arm

Symptoms of Elbow Dislocation

The common symptoms of Elbow Dislocation consist of:

  • Visiblaly dislocated elbow
  • Swelling around the elbow
  • Severe pain in the elbow with swelling.
  • Numbness in the hand
  • Inability to move hand at all

Elbow Dislocation Diagnosis

  • A physical examination is conducted after administration of painkillers to avoid pain. This involves moving the arm to understand the overall injury externally.
  • X-Rays are taken to find out if there are relative factures or crack in the associated bones of the hand
  • MRI could also be suggested to get a detailed understanding of the damaged tissues if any.

Elbow Dislocation Diagnosis

  • Generally, the dislocated joint is reduced into its place by the surgeon. This is a very painful process and is done only after administration of anaesthetic and pain killers.

    After this the elbow is put into splint belt to immobilize the hand to prevent further motion for healing. Ice pads are applied on regular intervals as per recommendations to ease pain and swelling.

    If the dislocation is simple enough, and does not have associated injuries, surgery is not needed. A surgery could be needed in case of broken bones or ligaments that are torn beyond repair.

Elbow Dislocation Recovery

The full recovery takes months and depends totally upon bone and tissue damages. Complete immobilization of the hand is necessary at least for 21 days.

A sling or belt is tied to immobilize the hand to let the injury heal. Extreme care is necessary. Proper medication and regular follow-ups should not be avoided. It takes up to 2 months to heal the injury.

Guided physiotherapy is followed after initial relief from the pain. It consists of various stretching exercises which help in strengthening the muscles and regaining the motion.

The Upper Limb Clinic, Thane west, is dedicated clinic for all diseases related to Knee, Hand, Shoulder, Elbow and Wrist. Contact us today for Elbow Dislocation to get better and accurate treatment.