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Dislocated Elbow

What is a dislocated elbow?

The elbow is dislocated when the bones in your elbow are knocked out of place. Adults' elbows can become dislocated but this condition is more common in children.

What are the signs of a dislocated elbow?

  • Immediate and acute pain in the elbow
  • Swelling
  • Elbow will not bend

What causes a dislocated elbow?

The elbow can dislocate when a person falls on an outstretched arm.

How does a doctor tell if a patient has a dislocated elbow?

Your doctor will some take some of the following steps to see if the elbow is dislocated:

  • Make a physicial examination of the elbow
  • Order an X-ray to see the position of the bones more clearly

How is a dislocated elbow normally treated?

The doctor will put the elbow back in place. This may require local anesthesia. After the elbow is in the correct position the doctor may apply a splint to keep the elbow immobile while it heals. Depending on the severity of the injury, the splint will be worn for several weeks. Once the elbow is healed, physical therapy and exercises may be prescribed to increase strength and stability of the elbow.

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