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Home :: Elbow Fracture, Ulna

Elbow Fracture, Ulna

A complete or incomplete break in the head of the ulna (one of the bones of the forearm). This fracture is often associated with an elbow dislocation.

BODY PARTS INVOLVED

  • Head of the ulna that forms part of the elbow.
  • 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 will be necessary .Rigid splints are used to immobilize the elbow and wrist.
  • After 48 hours, localized heat promotes healing by increasing blood circulation in the injured area .Use a heat lamp or a heating pad so heat can penetrate the splints.
  • After splints are removed,use frequent ice massage.Fill a large styrofoam cup with water and freeze.Tear a small amount of foam from the top so ice protrudes. Massage firmly over the injured area in a circle about the size of a baseball. Do this for 15 minutes at a time. 3 or 4 times a day, and before workouts or competition.
  • 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 for contact sports.

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