Elbow Fracture Treatment for Individuals From Lafayette, LA & Other Nearby Areas
An elbow fracture is a crack in the lower portion of the upper arm bone (humerus) or the upper portion of one of the two forearm bones (radius or ulna/olecranon). These three bones come together in the hinge-like elbow joint. A broken elbow bone can result from a direct blow, a sharp twist to the joint beyond its natural limit, or a fall onto an outstretched hand.
What does an elbow fracture feel like?
In addition to tenderness around the site of the break, an elbow fracture can cause:
- Severe pain that worsens with arm movement
- Swelling and bruising around the elbow
- A visible deformity or enlargement of the elbow
- Difficulty bending the elbow
How is an elbow fracture diagnosed?
To diagnose a broken elbow, Peter D. Vizzi, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, will perform a physical examination and review X-ray images of the joint, sometimes from several different angles (X-rays can be performed at his office in Lafayette, Louisiana). To further evaluate a severe or complex elbow injury, he may order an MRI or CT scan as well.
What are the treatment options for an elbow fracture?
If a broken elbow bone has not moved out of alignment, a splint or cast may be worn to keep the joint immobilized while the injury heals. To help reduce pain and swelling, ice can be applied as needed, and over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may provide further relief, if necessary. Within a few weeks, it may be possible to begin a gentle physical therapy program to alleviate joint stiffness and restore range of motion.
If the ends of a broken elbow bone have shifted out of position, Dr. Vizzi may discuss a surgical procedure to restore proper bone alignment. Additionally, an elbow fracture that involves multiple breaks may require internal fixation surgery to hold the broken bones together as they heal. Many patients attend physical therapy at some point after surgery.
If you live in the Lafayette, LA, area and would like to discuss your elbow fracture or another injury with Dr. Vizzi, contact us today to schedule a personal consultation.