You can get a broken elbow from things such as attempting to break a fall, receiving a direct strike to the arm, or being in a car accident. A fractured elbow is a break in one or more of the bones that comprise the elbow joint: the humerus (upper arm bone), ulna (large lower arm bone), and radius (small lower arm bone).
A fracture is classified according to its severity and complexity. The treatment and recovery period will depend on the severity of the elbow fracture.
In most cases, the doctor will place your arm in a cast or in a splint supported by a sling. The recovery period can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Pain During Elbow Fracture Recovery
Unlike broken bones in other areas of the body, pain is a big concern during elbow fracture recovery. The pain can last for weeks.
Applying ice to the area and taking the prescribed medication can help relieve the pain during your recovery. It is also recommended that you keep your elbow elevated in order to prevent swelling.
Physical Therapy When Recovering from a Broken Elbow
A critical part of recovery is physical therapy and rehabilitation of the elbow joint and indeed the entire arm. Physical therapy exercises and stretches will help to prevent stiffness, increase muscle strength, improve flexibility, and regain range of motion. Your physical therapist will show you how to boost circulation, improve healing, and reduce pain in the entire elbow area.
Therefore, patients who receive medical treatment for an elbow fracture will likely be recommended to undergo physical therapy as a key part of their rehabilitation. It is important that you continue to do the physical therapy exercises until your elbow and arm are fully recovered.
Avoid pushing, pulling, and lifting anything for at least six weeks. If in doubt about any activity potentially harming your broken elbow, be sure to check with your doctor.
The doctor will provide specific instructions for a successful recovery from your elbow fracture. Each patient recovers at their own pace, but it will be best to have the doctor check your fracture periodically in order to ensure that it is healing properly.
Sports Medicine Doctor in San Antonio, TX
Orthopedic doctors who have specialized training in sports medicine can help you prevent elbow fractures – and to treat them effectively when they do happen. The orthopedist will ensure that your elbow heals in such a way as to avoid the risk of developing post-traumatic arthritis, which can cause chronic pain in the arm.
Our physicians at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine can provide a prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment of your elbow injury. Our sports medicine team of Dr. Raymond Skunda and Dr. Geoffrey Millican are highly experienced in the latest advancements in surgical techniques and treatment options for elbow fractures, and our goal is to get you back to enjoying your regular activities as quickly as possible.
To request an appointment, call our friendly staff today at (210) 692-7400 or fill out our convenient online form. We look forward to seeing you!