If you have any reason to believe you have a dislocated elbow, it’s safe to assume you’re dealing with quite a bit of pain. Rather than attempt to treat the injury on your own, seek immediate medical care at a local emergency room.
Upon arrival, your doctor will examine your elbow for any indication of dislocation. From there, an X-ray is typically required to determine if there is a fracture of the bones that make up your elbow.
What’s the best treatment?
While it’s possible for a dislocated elbow to go back into place without manipulation, this isn’t common. Instead, your doctor will probably need to manipulate the bones for proper alignment. Since this can be painful, your doctor will give you medication to relax.
There are times when surgery is necessary, such as:
- If there are torn ligaments that need reattaching
- If there is any damage to local blood vessels or nerves
- If the dislocated bones are also fractured
Once you’re on the road to recovery, your doctor may suggest physical therapy. This helps you improve range of motion and regain strength in your elbow. Without this, you may suffer from a lifetime of issues.
There are many circumstances that can result in a dislocated elbow, such as falling from height when climbing a ladder at work.
If you injure your elbow at work, report the accident to your employer and seek immediate treatment. Once you understand the extent of your injury and the impact on your life, you can decide if it makes sense to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.