Dislocation usually occurs by falling while the elbow joint is bent. The contact surfaces are shifted (complete dislocation) or the contact surfaces may be in partial contact. There may be complications in form of the edge of the joint surface breaking or damaged neural or vascular system in the area. Therapy is performed with reposition of the elbow joint. After that the arm is fixed in a splint or orthosis. The length and type of fixation is determined by the doctor.
During the dislocation of the elbow are raidus and ulna (forearm bones) dislocated backwards and the ligaments in the front are in high tension. It is considered to be a severe injury. The arm is then fixed in gypsum cast, in a 90 degree bend in the elbow joint. During this period we can exercise the fingers, wrist and shoulder joint. After the cast is taken down, we continue to do the same exercises and we add exercises involving movement of the elbow joint. We can relieve the muscles with relaxing techniques, stretch them out, or strengthen them.
Another option which may happen is isolated dislocation of the radius bone in a volar or distal direction. During the volar dislocation are patients usually not able to stretch out or even bend in the elbow joint. It is treated with reposition and hanging the arm with bending elbow in an arm sling. From the 5th day after the reposition we can start to slowly regain the movement range in the elbow joint. Approximately one month after the injury patients can start to put the elbow under full pressure. Distal dislocation occurs due to abrupt movement of the arm. The elbow can bend and stretch out, but pronation and supination are not possible to do. After the reposition, it is not necessary to immobilise the arm, and after two days it is possible to gradually start moving the arm.
You can find more informations in our articles and exercise tutorials
- Tennis/javelin thrower's elbow
- Pain in the area of the elbow - tennis and javelin thrower's elbow
- Tennis elbow
- Tennis and javelin thrower's elbow - treatment
- First aid: pain in the elbow
- Exercises against pain in the elbow
- Exercises against pain in the elbow with exercising tool