One of the most common orthopedic injuries is a broken bone, also known as a fracture. While you can get a fracture anywhere in your body, one place that frequently incurs this injury is the elbow. We use our arms for practically everything we do, and when we get into an accident or suffer a fall, our arms are often used to block the impact to the rest of the body. As a result, they suffer a great deal of injuries, like fractures.
Some common ways you can get an elbow fracture is if you fall directly on the elbow or with your arm stretched out. Additionally, you can also get a fracture in the elbow if you get hit with a direct blow to the arm. While elbow injuries are more common among children and the elderly, adults are suspectable to this injury, as well.
There are many ways in which an elbow can fracture. Your treatment for a broken elbow will depend significantly on the specific way it breaks.
Types of Fractures
All fractures have certain characteristics that are used to classify them. The most basic classifications are:
- Open Fracture An open fracture refers to a bone that breaks and pierces through the skin. This type of fracture is considered very serious and requires immediate medical attention, typically in an emergency room setting. Surgery is often the only way to correct an open fracture, followed by an extended period of immobilization while the bones heal.
- Closed Fracture A closed fracture refers to a broken bone that does not pierces through the skin. A closed fracture can be minor, such as an incomplete break in the bone, or significant, such as the bone breaking into more than 2 pieces (shattering). Closed fractures are treated using immobilization and surgery, depending on the way the bones align after the break. Bone pieces that are misaligned or shattered require surgical correction.
Types of Elbow Fractures
When it comes to elbow fractures, there are many types that can occur. Here are the most common elbow fractures:
- Condylar Fracture A condylar fracture develops in the bony protrusions of the elbow. It needs to be treated very carefully as the fracture can affect the elbow’s long-term joint health as well as the growth plate (cartilage) in the elbow.
- Supracondylar Fracture A supracondylar fracture refers to a break in the humerus directly above the elbow. This is the most common type of fracture affecting the elbow and can cause nerve injuries as well as impaired circulation to the arm and hand.
- Medial Epicondylar Fracture A medial epicondylar fracture happens most often on the inside of the elbow, above the bony protrusions. This type of fracture is most common among adolescents and young teens than adults.
Elbow Fracture Treatment in San Antonio, Texas
If you’ve suffered an elbow injury or fracture, you will need extended treatment in addition to immediate fracture correction. An orthopedic doctor is the best specialist to treat you.
The Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine can diagnose your injury, and recommend an effective, long-term treatment plan that guarantees you will have minimal effects to the health of your elbow and arm in the future.
Visit us today, and see how we can help you heal. To schedule an appointment, call (210) 692-7400. You can also request an appointment online.