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Health Tip

Home :: Elbow Sprain

Elbow Sprain

Violent overstretching of one or more ligaments in the elbow joint. Elbow sprains are relatively uncommon. Sprains involving two or more ligaments cause considerably more disability than single-ligament sprains. When the ligament is overstretched, it becomes tense and gives way at its weakest point, either where it attaches to bone or within the ligament itself. If the ligament pulls loose a fragment of bone, It is called a sprain-fracture. There are 3 types of sprains:

  • Mild (Grade I)-Tearing of some ligament fibers. There is no loss of function.
  • Moderate (Grade II)-Rupture of a portion of the ligament, resulting in some loss of function.
  • Severe (Grade III)-Complete rupture of the ligament or complete separation of ligament from bone. There is total loss of function. A severe sprain requires surgical repair.

BODY PARTS INVOLVED

  • Ligaments of the elbow joint.
  • Tissue surrounding the sprain, including blood vessels, tendons, bone, periosteum (covering of bone) and muscles.

Causes

Sharp force that bends the elbow sideways or backward, causing stress on ligament and temporarily forcing or prying the elbow joint out of its normal location.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Severe pain at the time of injury.
  • A feeling of popping or tearing inside the elbow.
  • Tenderness at the injury site.
  • Swelling around the elbow.
  • Bruising that appears soon after injury.

Treatment

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

If the doctor does not apply a cast, tape or elastic bandage:

  • Continue using an ice pack 3 or 4 times a day. Place ice chips or cubes in a plastic bag.Wrap the bag in a moist towel, and place it over the injured area.Use for 20 minutes at a time.
  • Wrap the elbow with an elasticized bandage between ice treatments.
  • After 72 hours,apply heat instead of ice if it feels better. Use heat lamps, hot soaks, hot showers ,heating pads, or heat liniments or ointments.
  • Take whirlpool treatments,if available.
  • Massage gently and often to provide comfort and decrease swelling.

Home Diet

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
  • Long-term strengthening and conditioning appropriate for sport.
  • Warm up before practice or competition.
  • Tape vulnerable joints before practice or competition

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