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Elbow Dislocation Surgery For Injury Recovery

Elbow Dislocation

The bones in the elbow are held together by ligaments to provide stability to the joint. Muscles and tendons move the bones around each other and help in performing various activities. Elbow dislocation occurs when the bones that make up the joint are forced out of alignment.

The elbow is one of the most commonly dislocated joints in the human body. This can happen due to a fall, direct blow, or other trauma to the elbow. Elbow dislocations are very painful and can cause swelling, numbness, and weakness in the affected arm.

Dislocated elbow symptoms can include severe pain, swelling, and lack of the ability to bend your arm. Sometimes, you cannot feel your hand or may have no pulse in your wrist because arteries and nerves that run along your elbow may be injured.

An elbow dislocation is a serious injury and requires immediate medical attention. At home, you may apply an ice pack to the elbow to ease pain and swelling. You should check your pulse to figure out if the arteries are injured. You can feel your pulse by pressing the tips of your fingers at the base of your wrist. They should turn white or blanch and a pink color should come back in 3 seconds. To check for nerve injury, bend your wrist up and move your fingers apart and then touch your thumb to your little finger. You can also check for numbness all over your hand and arm. If you have a problem with any of these tests, you should seek treatment from an orthopaedic doctor near you right away.

To diagnose elbow dislocation, your specialist will first examine your arm. They will check the pulses at the wrist and evaluate the circulation to the arm. An X-ray is necessary to determine if there is a break in the bone and can be helpful to determine if the artery is injured.

Elbow dislocation treatment involves a procedure known as a reduction. During this procedure, your specialist will put your dislocated elbow back in place by pulling down your wrist and levering your elbow. As it is a painful procedure, you will likely be given medications to relieve your pain before the procedure. After the reduction, you may have to wear a splint to immobilize your arm at the elbow. After a few days, you may also need to perform gentle motion exercises to improve your range of motion and strength.

Seeking treatment for elbow dislocation as early as possible can help you avoid further complications and ensure a full recovery. Dr. Brian Kelly and his team of orthopaedic specialists are experienced in treating elbow dislocations and a variety of other injuries. Visit Brian J. Kelly MD for your injury treatment needs.


X-ray view of a woman walking

Top Rated Elbow Impingement Treatment

Elbow Impingement

Elbow impingement is a medical condition characterized by compression and injury of soft tissue structures, such as cartilage, at the back of the elbow or within the elbow joint. It is a condition caused by repetitive forced extensions and overuse of the elbow. Elbow impingement can lead to elbow pain and stiffness.

Elbow impingement is a common condition that often affects athletes, such as tennis players, who repetitively extend their elbow during their swing, or occupations that require repetitive elbow extensions, such as painting or carpentry.

Elbow impingement symptoms can include:

  • Pain and tenderness at the elbow.
  • Joint stiffness.
  • Locking and catching of the elbow.
  • Abnormal popping or crackling sound.
  • Joint effusion (abnormal fluid build-up).
  • Decreased range of motion.
  • Swelling and bruising of the elbow.
  • Visible deformity and loss of elbow function.

Elbow impingement is diagnosed through a combination of medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests. During the physical examination, your doctor will check for tenderness, swelling, and range of motion in your elbow. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans, may be ordered to visualize the structures in and around your elbow joint.

Treatment for elbow impingement focuses on reducing pain and inflammation, restoring range of motion, and strengthening the elbow joint. Your specialist will likely recommend non-surgical treatments before proposing surgery. Nonsurgical treatment options may include:

  • Ice: Application of ice packs on the elbow to decrease swelling and pain
  • Activity Modification: Avoiding activities that trigger symptoms and changing one’s habits
  • Physical Therapy: Regular exercise regimen to improve range of motion and strengthen elbow muscles
  • Anti-inflammatory Medication: Medications like naproxen and ibuprofen to relieve inflammation and pain.
  • Cortisone Injection: If physical therapy, medications, rest, and activity modification do not yield the desired results, a cortisone injection may be helpful. Cortisone is a very effective anti-inflammatory medicine for bursitis and a long-term pain reliever for tears and structural damage.

Surgical treatment options may include:

  • Arthroscopy - Your doctor will be able to repair damage to soft tissues of the elbow by using this technique. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves making small keyhole incisions to pass a fiber-optic tube with a tiny camera called an arthroscope and miniature instruments into the elbow joint. The camera displays pictures of the affected region on a monitor and the doctor is guided by these images to carry out the necessary repair.
  • Open Surgery - A traditional open surgery approach would require a large surgical incision to be made to repair the affected region if the injury is large and complex. Open surgery has been utilized for joint debridement (removal of damaged cartilage

If elbow impingement is left untreated, it can lead to the development of elbow arthritis. That’s why you must seek treatment from an elbow specialist near you as soon as you can. The orthopaedic surgeons at Brian J. Kelly MD. are experienced in performing elbow impingement surgery, as well as other procedures for various injuries. Let Dr. Brian Kelly and his expert team take care of your injuries and guide you to a full recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I see an orthopaedic doctor for elbow pain?

If you are experiencing elbow pain that does not go away with rest, ice, and over-the-counter medication, you should see an orthopaedic doctor. Dr. Brian Kelly can help you discover the cause of your pain and develop an effective treatment plan.

What are the causes of elbow impingement?

Some of the conditions that can trigger elbow impingement include:

  • Synovitis or inflammation of the synovium, a membrane that lines the joints.
  • Bursitis or inflammation of the bursae, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints.
  • Bone spurs or abnormal bony projections along the ends of bones.
  • Inflammation of the joints.
  • Rupture of cartilage or other soft tissues.
  • Stiffening of the ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

No matter what is causing your pain, Dr. Brian Kelly and his expert team can determine the best route of treatment to address the root of the issue and provide long-lasting pain relief.

How long does it take to recover from a dislocated elbow?

The recovery time for a dislocated elbow depends on the severity of the injury. In most cases, the elbow can be put back into place within a few minutes and you can start physical therapy immediately. However, some people may need surgery to repair damaged ligaments or bones. Dr. Brian Kelly can advise you on treatment options and provide care instructions that promote a swift and safe recovery.

How do I get started with an elbow orthopaedic surgeon?

Elbow injuries often require immediate intervention. If you have injured your elbow and pain persists, visit the office of Brian J. Kelly MD. Our team of orthopaedic specialists will devise a unique treatment plan that is tailored to your needs and goals. Your elbow is essential to the movement of your arm, and you shouldn’t have to live with limited arm mobility. Let the experts of Brian J. Kelly MD help you reduce your symptoms and regain elbow function by scheduling an appointment. You can contact us  by phone at 412-262-7800, or visit our office at 725 Cherrington Pkwy, Suite 200, Moon Township, PA 15208.

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