Elbow dislocation is one type of upper limb injury that is often experienced after shoulder dislocation. Elbow dislocation occurs in 10-25% of all injuries to the elbow. This condition occurs when the bone in the forearm (radius and ulna) changes position towards the upper arm (humerus) bone. Elbow dislocation causes movement disorders in bending and straightening the forearm, as well as supination and pronation (rotating the palms up and down).
According to our elbow dislocation specialist clinic, the most common cause of elbow dislocation is trauma, such as a fall or accident. When falling, often someone will reflexively hold it by hand so that the load is channelled to the elbow and pushes the forearm bone out of the joint.
This is often experienced in sports that easily lose balance, such as gymnastics or cycling. Elbow dislocation can also occur in children under four years of age due to pulling on the child’s hands. Children are more susceptible to elbow dislocations because they have loose ligaments due to unformed bones.
Read more about Children Elbow Dislocation
Type of Elbow Dislocation
Elbow dislocation can occur as a whole or partially. In whole elbow dislocations, the entire surface of the elbow joint is separated, whereas in partial dislocations only a part of the surface of the joint is separated. Partial elbow dislocation is also known as elbow subluxation.
Full elbow dislocation is easier to recognise than partial elbow dislocation. In complete elbow dislocation, deformity of the arm will appear with extreme pain. Conversely, partial elbow dislocations are sometimes difficult to detect because the joints will appear normal. Elbows can still be moved, but accompanied by pain. In addition, bruises can be found on the inner and outer elbows due to ligament tears.
It is important to identify injuries to blood vessels and nerves in the elbow that has dislocated by evaluating the wrist pulse and numbness. If there is an injury to the arteries, the hands will feel cold to the touch and purplish white. This is because there is less blood flow to the hand.
In elbow nerve injury, part or all of the arm will become numb or cannot be moved. In cases of suspected elbow dislocation, an elbow X-ray will be carried out to confirm the injury.
Treatment Elbow Dislocation
According to our elbow dislocation specialist clinic, Elbow dislocation is an emergency case that must be treated immediately. The aim of treatment is to restore bone to its position and restore arm function. Management can be done without surgery or surgery if needed.
Handling of elbow dislocations depends on the severity or severity of the dislocation experienced. In simple dislocations that do not involve severe bone injury, restoration of the position of the bone in the elbow joint (reduction) can be done at the emergency department by administering sedation and pain relief drugs to reduce the pain experienced.
After that, immobilisation of the elbow joint for 1-3 weeks will be carried out, followed by simple motion exercises. This is important to prevent limited supply of movement if immobilisation is carried out for too long. Complex dislocation, where severe bone and ligament injuries occur; and severe dislocations, where there are injuries to blood vessels and nerves.
In both cases, surgery is performed to restore bone position and repair damaged ligaments. If there is damage to blood vessels and nerves, repairs will be made to the damaged part. Improved elbow dislocation can have an impact on the limited motion of the elbow joint and increase the likelihood of early joint inflammation in the joint. In complex dislocations there is also an increased risk of recurrence of injury and chronic instability in the elbow.
Call us at 64762106 or SMS 84998384 for an appointment to get your elbow checked with our Elbow Dislocation Specialist Singapore.