A break in one or more of the bones that make up the elbow joint. The joint consists of three bones:
- Humerus—the upper arm bone
- Ulna—the lower arm bone
- Radius—the smaller forearm bone
Causes of an elbow fracture stem from trauma to the area itself, including falling on an outstretched arm, twisting the joint beyond its normal range of motion and experiencing a direct blow to the area. A common cause of an elbow fracture results from injury sustained in an automobile accident or motorcycle accident, where an individual is exposed to amounts of high exertion to the elbow and arm.
Symptoms of an elbow fracture can include pain, swelling of the injured area, deformity over the injured area and numbness in fingers and arms.
Like other fractures, treatment can depend on the severity of the injury. If any of the elbow bones are broken completely, surgery may be needed to put the bones back into position. Physical therapy and other exercises can also be used to strengthen the muscles around the injury.