Trauma to the Elbow


Trauma to the Elbow

I’m Ed Smith, an Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. Trauma to the elbow is a significant injury and can be very immobilizing especially with fractures and dislocations caused by a fall or auto accident. Such traumatic injuries to the elbow are quite common in the elderly but occur in young, healthy people as well. Simple elbow injuries are seen in the elderly from low-energy trauma. Complex or high-energy trauma to the elbow is more common with younger people from activities such as falls from a tall height, sports injuries, motorcycle, or automobile accidents. Either low-energy or high-energy injuries can lead to open fractures or dislocations of the elbow.

Open Fractures and Dislocations    

Many times these traumatic injuries to the elbow result in open fractures or dislocations because of the thin soft tissue around the elbow. There may also be associated injuries to the nerves as well as the brachial artery to be assessed. Elbow dislocations are second in frequency only after the shoulder. Complex dislocations are associated with fractures of the elbow as well. In children, isolated dislocations of the radial head also occur often and reduction is urgently recommended at this point. Reduction is a surgical procedure to correct the alignment of the area that has been fractured or dislocated. This is a very painful procedure and usually performed under sedation where screws or plates may be inserted for stabilization of the bones and to promote proper healing. Simple dislocations rarely require surgery.

Extent of the Injury

X-rays will need to be taken upon arriving at a hospital to understand the extent of the injury. X-rays help with seeing small fragments of bones that may be displaced underneath the skin. CT scans can also be helpful to determine the extent of injury for even smaller fragments to be detected before surgical implementation. Once the extent of injury is established it is important to reduce the dislocation or displacement as much as possible. Surgery will then ensue as needed based on the injury. Repeat x-rays will need to be done as well to carefully reassess and evaluate any further surgical manipulation. Then treatment will continue to progress as needed based on the extent of the injury and how the elbow is healing.

Healing Challenges of Elbow Injuries

Elbow injuries are a particular challenge to a surgeon because of the delicate balance to maintain with stability and motion. It is a common tendency of this joint to want to become stiff, maybe developing a syndrome called post traumatic contracture, if immobilized in a cast or splint for a long period of time. The goal for most physicians becomes to gain enough stability at first but then to allow for early motion when possible to prevent stiffness. There are many implants and techniques that have been designed for this very purpose of healing for these unique elbow injuries.

Get the Help Needed

It will be an ongoing process of treatment and healing with your doctor if you have suffered from a traumatic injury to your elbow. More complex dislocations are easily able to re-dislocate if continued treatment is delayed. In these severe injury cases pin fixation may be required and full elbow function is rarely possible. To prevent further complications with an elbow injury, make sure to get the physical and legal help you may need. Our personal injury lawyers have dealt with many injuries related to falls or car accidents. It is unnecessary to suffer more than physically for these traumatic injuries. Contact an injury lawyer in Sacramento if your accident was caused by the negligence of someone else. An injury lawyer can help you recover compensation resulting from an accident with a negligent party.

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Injury Lawyer in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, an Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. Trauma to the elbow and any other fractures or dislocations can ultimately lead to serious problems. If you’ve been injured in a fall or accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 for friendly, free advice. Toll-free I am also available at (800) 404-5400.

I have been honored to be a part of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This group is comprised, in part, of top national injury lawyers who have won at least million dollar verdicts and settlements.

Read my prior verdicts and settlements.

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Credit for Image: By Internet Archive Book Images- Wikimedia Commons

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