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Health Tip

Home :: Elbow Fracture, Radius

Elbow Fracture, Radius

A complete or incomplete break in the head of the radius, one of the bones of the forearm.

BODY PARTS INVOLVED

  • Head of the radius.
  • Elbow joint.
  • Soft tissue surrounding the fracture site, including nerves, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, cartilage and muscles.

Causes

  • Direct blow to the elbow.
  • Indirect injury due to falling on an outstretched hand with the elbow stiff,or any injury that causes dislocation of the elbow.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Severe pain at the fracture site.
  • Swelling around the fracture.
  • Visible deformity if the fracture is complete and bone fragments separate enough to distort normal arm contours.
  • Tenderness to the touch.
  • Numbness and coldness in the lower arm and hand, if the blood supply is impaired.

Treatment

Follow your doctor's instructions .These instructions are supplemental.

  • Immobilization of the elbow with rigid splints will be necessary.
  • After 48 hours, localized heat promotes healing by increasing blood circulation in the injured area .Use a heat lamp so heat can penetrate the splints.
  • After splints are removed,use an ice pack 3 or 4 times a day .Place ice chips or cubes in a plastic bag, and wrap the bag in a moist towel. Place it over the injured area for 20 minutes at a time.
  • Apply heat instead of ice, if it feels better. Use heat lamps, hot soaks, hot showers, heating pads, or heat liniments and ointments.
  • Take whirlpool treatments, if available.

Home Diet

  • Drink only water before manipulation or surgery to treat the fracture. Solid food in your stomach makes vomiting while under anesthesia more hazardous.
  • During recovery, eat a well-balanced diet that includes extra protein, such as meat, fish, poultry, cheese, milk and eggs. Increase fiber and fluid intake to prevent constipation that may result from decreased activity.
Prevention
  • Build adequate muscle strength and achieve good conditioning prior to exercise athletic practice or competition. Increased muscle mass helps protect bones and underlying tissue.
  • Use appropriate protective equipment such as padded elbow pads , when participating in contact sports.

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