Elbow Fracture, Simple

A fracture is a break in one of the bones.When fractures are not displaced or separated, they may be treated with only a sling or splint. The sling or splint may only be required for two to three weeks. In these cases, often the elbow is put through early range of motion exercises to prevent the elbow from getting stiff.

DIAGNOSIS

The diagnosis (learning what is wrong) of a fractured elbow is made by x-ray. These may be required before and after the elbow is put into a splint or cast. X-rays are taken after to make sure the bone pieces have not moved.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • If you have a splint held on with an elastic wrap and your hand or fingers become numb or cold and blue, loosen the wrap and reapply more loosely. See your caregiver if there is no relief.

  • You may use ice for twenty minutes, four times per day, for the first two to three days.

  • Use your elbow as directed.

  • See your caregiver as directed. It is very important to keep all follow-up referrals and appointments in order to avoid any long-term problems with your elbow including chronic pain or stiffness.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • There is swelling or increasing pain in elbow.

  • You begin to lose feeling or experience numbness or tingling in your hand or fingers.

  • You develop swelling of the hand and fingers.

  • You get a cold or blue hand or fingers on affected side.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.