Dislocated Elbow occurs when the bones that make up the joint are forced out of alignment typically when you land on an outstretched hand during a fall. The elbow is the second most commonly dislocated joint after the shoulder in adults, and the most commonly dislocated joint in children. Toddlers may experience a dislocated elbow, sometimes known as nursemaid's elbow, if they are lifted or swung by their forearms. A dislocated elbow can usually be realigned without surgery. However, if elbow is also fractured, one might need surgery.
The cause of most elbow dislocations is usually a fall, most commonly with the arm extended completely. However, any traumatic injury (such as a car crash or fall skiing) can result in an elbow dislocation. Severe pain in the elbow, swelling, and inability to bend your arm are all signs of an elbow dislocation. In some cases, one may lose feeling in your hand or no longer have a pulse.
The diagnosis of the elbow dislocation includes the medical examination of the following: The physician will check for the nerves and arteries if damaged by checking out the pulse of the patient by moving the patients fingers and wrists. The physician may also suggest for X-rays to observe for fractures and dislocations. Sometimes arteriogram is also performed if necessary. An elbow dislocation is a serious injury that needs medical care. Generally physiotherapy is suggested and some pain killers are suggested. If necessary surgery is performed based upon the injury.
Many patients with a dislocated elbow heal well with appropriate physiotherapy and return to normal function. This may take weeks to months to achieve an optimal outcome. However, due to the severity of injury and widespread connective tissue damage associated with this condition, patients may experience long term effects. Some of the most common long term effects of a dislocated elbow include reduced elbow range of movement (especially extension) and an increased likelihood of future dislocation or elbow sprain.