Elbow fractures commonly result from a fall, twisting injury or high impact accident and will be comfirmed by x-rays and scans.
What are the symptoms?
- Swelling, bruising and pain
- An audible snap or pop at time of injury
- Visible deformity or banana arm
- Numbness or weakness in the arm, wrist and hand
There are three main type of elbow fractures including:
Head of The Radius Fracture
- This injury usually causes pain with forearm rotation (palms turned up then down again).
- These kind of fractures rarely require surgery to either fix or replace the radial head.
- These fractures are often displaced and almost all require surgery.
- The bone fragments are re-aligned and held together with pins and wires or plates and screws.
Distal Humerus Fractures
- These fractures occur commonly in children and in the elderly.
- Nerve and/or artery injuries can be associated with these types of fractures. These fractures usually require surgical repair with plates and/or screw, unless they are stable.
- Dr Herald can also treat forearm fractures. There are several types of forearm fractures (sometimes severe breaks are called banana arm).
- Forearm fractures typically account for 4 in 10 childhood fractures.
What are the different types of forearm fractures?
- Torus fractures – In this injury, one side of the bone compresses, causing the other side to bend away from the growth plate. This is a stable fracture, meaning that the broken pieces of bone are still in position and have not separated apart (displaced).
- Buckle Fractures – Also known as Metaphyseal fractures, these breaks frequently affect babies and toddlers. The fracture is across the upper or lower portion of the shaft of the bone and does not affect the growth plate.
- Greenstick fracture – Another fracture of babies and young children, this is where soft bone breaks on one side and bends on the other – the euphemism refers to greenwood which also breaks when bent.
- Galeazzi fracture – This injury affects both bones of the forearm. There is usually a displaced fracture in the radius and a dislocation of the ulna at the wrist.
- Monteggia fracture – This requires urgent medical attention as it is a severe injury. It affects both bones of the forearm – the ulna and the top (head) of the radius is dislocated.
- Growth plate fracture – Because the growth plate helps determine the future length and shape of the mature bone, this type of fracture requires urgent attention. Trauma that would cause a sprain in an adult might actually fracture a growth plate in a child.