Elbow Fractures & Treatment | MedStar Health

Without much protection from muscles or other soft tissues, the elbow can easily break if you experience a direct blow to the elbow or fall on a bent elbow. When the elbow structure is altered, either by breaking a bone or by tearing ligaments, muscles, or tendons, or a combination of those problems, it will not function normally. It can become very painful and stiff and can cause a feeling of instability. There are many types of elbow fractures, such as those to the distal humerus, olecranon, radial head, monteggia and capitellum. Though these fractures usually occur in isolation, they can be a part of a more complex injury.

Some fractures require just a splint or sling to hold the elbow in place during the healing process. This nonsurgical approach may require long periods of splinting or casting. The elbow may become very stiff and require a longer period of therapy after the cast is removed to regain motion. If the fracture shifts in position, surgery may be needed to put the bones back together.


Open Reduction with Internal Fixation of the Elbow

Open Reduction with Internal Fixation (ORIF) of the Elbow is a method of surgically repairing a fractured elbow. A two-step process, it first involves repositioning the broken bones to restore their normal…