Elbow Fracture Complications

Elbow Fracture Complications

Elbow Fracture Complications

Elbow Fracture Complications. When people think about fractures of the arm, they often think about a break in the hand, wrist, or upper arm; however, fractures can occur in the elbow as well. These usually happen when people slip and fall on their side or when a significant, direct blow impacts the tip of the elbow, such as in an auto accident. When this happens, there are many complications of elbow fractures which may develop. According to statistics found in a study published in the Journal of Orthopedics:

  • There were about three elbow fractures out of every 1,000 children under 15 years of age which occurred over a period of five years.
  • The majority of children sustained a fracture where the elbow joins the upper arm.
  • There was almost an even distribution of elbow fractures in boys and girls.
  • The average age of the study population was around eight years of age when they sustained their fracture.
  • A significant number of children sustained additional injuries of the nerves and blood vessels in the nearby area.

While the study focused on children, elbow fractures can occur in anyone. When people suffer a fracture of the elbow, there are lots of other complications that might arise. These can lead to significant long-term disabilities which can make it difficult for someone to return to school or work.

Elbow Fracture Complications Can Be Serious

While the immediate focus following the fracture of the elbow is the repair of the break, there are other complications that people should watch out for. Some of these complications include:

Vascular Issues: Many blood vessels run through the elbow which might be injured when someone sustains an elbow fracture. One of these is called the brachial artery, which supplies oxygenated blood and nutrients to the tissues of the arm. If this blood vessel is damaged, tremendous bleeding can result.

Nerve Damage: In addition to blood vessels, there are several vital nerves which run through the elbow joint as well. These include the ulnar nerve, the radial nerve, and the median nerve. These supply motor and sensory function to the hand and forearm. If these nerves are damaged, this can lead to motor and sensory deficits which might result in a loss of function of the arm.

Dislocations: When people sustain fractures of the elbow, this makes it easier to dislocate the elbow in the future. This comes from ligament, tendon, and fascia laxity which makes it easier for the joint to slide out of place. People need to keep this in mind after the fracture heals.

In addition to all of this, people who suffer fractures in and around joints often develop arthritis in that location at an earlier age.

Treatment of an Elbow Fracture

The treatment of an elbow fracture depends on how severe the fracture is. Ice and pain medication will be used to control the swelling and the pain. The elbow will be splinted to immobilize the joint and prevent any further damage. Once the swelling has gone down, the decision of whether or not to have surgery can be made. If the fracture is displaced or open, surgery will be needed to place the bones back in their proper alignment. If the fracture is not open and not displaced, surgery may not be necessary. Once the bones are in the right place, the elbow will be immobilized with a cast. Over the next several weeks, the elbow will heal. When the cast is removed, the joint is going to be stiff, and the muscles will likely have weakened. Physical therapy can help people restore the function of their elbow to pre-injury levels.

Help from an Experienced Lawyer

Someone who sustains a serious bone fracture, particularly one which leads to complications, might be in a hospital for a long period of time. They could even require a trip to an operating room. When this happens, their family can be placed under a large amount of stress. Sometimes, even after people leave the hospital, they might not yet be able to return to work. This can lead to even more issues that family members can have a hard time dealing with. When this happens, families should always ask for help. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Sacramento might have options available that families may find useful. Do not hesitate to reach out for assistance during times of need. You and your family may be entitled to financial compensation.

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Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Complications of elbow fractures can lead to long-term disabilities. If you or a family member has suffered serious injuries in a car accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. I would be happy to offer friendly, free advice.

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Elbow Fracture Complications: AutoAccident.com

Image Attribution: The image at the beginning of this page was seen first on Unsplash. The picture has been printed here with permission / Elbow Fracture Complications.

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