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Our specialists at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow can help get you on the right track. With offices located in Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia, our expert team is available to aid in your recovery. Be sure to contact us today.
We realize that you may have some pending questions regarding elbow dislocation. In order to assist you, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions below.
Elbow dislocation is when the bones that make up your elbow joint are forced or jolted out of alignment. Generally, this is the result of landing from a fall on your outstretched arm. Elbow dislocations are usually very painful and need to be treated by a specialist as soon as possible.
There are three types of elbow dislocations, and they are based on the severity of the damage. The three types are as follows:
Some of the symptoms of elbow dislocation include:
While the evidence of elbow dislocation can be very apparent, sometimes due to large amounts of swelling, you may not be able to accurately recognize the symptoms. Seeing a specialist will help you make the proper diagnosis with clinical examination and specialized imaging.
Falling with your arm outstretched is one of the most common causes of elbow dislocations. Stretching your arms out in front of you as you fall is a natural reflex. However, the force can cause your bone to pop out of alignment in your elbow joint.
Elbow dislocations have a high occurrence rate among young adults and teenagers while playing high-impact sports such as hockey or football. It can also occur while ice skating, skateboarding, practicing gymnastics, or engaging in a host of other sports.
Traumatic injuries such as car accidents are another cause. To brace for impact in an attempt to protect ourselves, we naturally and instinctively extend our arms out. The force from the impact can pop our elbow out of its natural position, causing an elbow dislocation.
Overusing your elbow while taking care of everyday activities can cause your elbow to pop out of place. Sometimes this will happen if the load you carry is too heavy.
There are different ways to treat a dislocated elbow. It all depends on the severity of your injury. Some treatment options include:
Whether your elbow is treated with manipulation or surgery, physical therapy will be a requirement to help you regain your range of motion.
A physical therapist can help treat your elbow dislocation in several ways. Your physical therapist can help relieve the pain you feel in your elbow joint and restore your range of motion and strength.
During a therapy session, you will be given gentle exercises to do even while your arm is still in a sling. This will prove to be worthwhile because if your arm is immobilized for an extended amount of time, you may have difficulty regaining your range of motion.
Once your sling is removed after manipulation or you have healed enough after surgery, your therapist will provide you with a series of specific stretches and exercises to help you achieve your goal of regaining your strength and your range of motion.
If you are an athlete, your therapist can also specifically tailor your exercises and stretches to help you return to the game that you love.
Our elbow dislocation specialists at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow can help you find relief. Schedule an appointment at our Atlanta or Marietta, GA offices today!
Dr. Randall Alexander, MD