Elbow dislocations are not common. Elbow dislocations can be partial and this is called a subluxation or they can be complete. A simple dislocation implies that there is no bone involvement such as a fracture. A complex dislocation suggests there is bone injury such as a fracture.
Causes of elbow dislocation
The most common cause of an elbow dislocation is a fall on an outstretch hand. If there is rotation involved when this occurs it can make the joint completely come out of the socket. This usually happens in trauma such as car or motorcycle accidents. Individuals with naturally loose joints (hypermobility) are moer at risk of elbow dislocation.
Symptoms of elbow dislocation
It is not hard to detect a complete elbow dislocation given that there will be deformity and large amounts of pain. It is more difficult to detect a partial dislocation, especially if it ‘goes back in’. Bruising, pain, and restricted movement are all common.
Treatment of elbow dislocation
Elbow dislocation is a medical emergency and must have a specialist orthopaedic review to make sure other structures are not compromised and the elbow is back in proper alignment. Chiropractors and physiotherapists would say the ‘elbow has reduced’ and this means it now sits where it is meant to. Long terms the main chiropractic and physiotherapy objectives are to ensure restoration of strength and function to the elbow in terms of mobility, strength and function task performance. If proper treatment is not sort, and the ligament doesn’t heal properly, repeated dislocations are common.