Dislocation of the elbow joint
Dislocation of the elbow joint is a process of displacement of the ulna and radius. According to statistics published in the specialized media, the most common upper limb injuries include dislocations of the elbow joint. This is due to the fact that the hands perform various motor functions, as a result of which they are constantly subjected to great physical exertion. The resulting injuries, or regular flexion and extension movements, have a negative impact on the general condition of the elbow joint.
- Types of dislocations of the elbow joint
- Causes of dislocation of the elbow joint
- Elbow Dislocation Symptoms
- Elbow Dislocation Treatment
Types of dislocations of the elbow joint
In most cases, elbow dislocation affects either one bone or both bones of the forearm.
Modern medicine defines three types of dislocation of the elbow joint:
- dislocation, in which both bones of the forearm are affected;
- isolated dislocations occurred on one bone;
- divergent dislocations occurred on the bones of the forearm.
Causes of dislocation of the elbow joint
The main cause of dislocation of the elbow joint is a closed injury to the upper limb, in which a fall occurs on an outstretched arm. This damage can be obtained by accidentally stretching the arm (usually young children under 3 years of age face this problem).
When hitting the elbow joint, a dislocation can also occur, which refers to an open injury to the upper limb. A large number of dislocations of the elbow joint occur in road accidents, during which there was an injury to car passengers or pedestrians.
Elbow Dislocation Symptoms
With dislocation of the elbow joint, patients may experience the following symptoms:
- swelling at the site of injury;
- a rapid increase in body temperature;
- strong pain in the elbow area, which intensifies even with a slight movement of the hand;
- numbness of the injured upper limb and loss of sensitivity;
- lack of pulse in the lower arm;
- intense fever;
- visually visible deformation of the elbow joint;
- paralysis of fingers or hand, etc.
Patients who have had a dislocation of the elbow joint may face serious complications in which the joint capsule ruptures or the brachial artery is damaged. In this case, surgical intervention will be required, which will eventually restore the mobility and functionality of the injured upper limb.
If pain occurs in the elbow joint, the patient should contact a medical institution, where he will be diagnosed and provided with first aid.
During the examination, the doctor will palpate the damaged area and send the patient for a hardware examination:
- heart rate monitoring, etc.
The doctor sends this category of patients for examination to a neurologist who can determine the degree of hand mobility.
If you suspect a dislocation, in no case should you try to correct the elbow joint on your own. It is advisable to fix the injured arm with a splint or any available means (the upper limb should be suspended). All movements should be done with extreme caution, as there is a high risk of damage to the nerves or arteries located in the elbow joint.
To relieve pain, the victim must be given any anesthetic medicine that is in the first-aid kit. After this, the patient should be transported to the nearest medical facility.
Elbow Dislocation Treatment
During the treatment of patients who have been diagnosed with dislocation of the elbow joint, specialists perform the following actions:
- enter the patient into general anesthesia;
- dislocation reduction;
- apply a splint (plaster).
In most cases, the immobilization period does not exceed 10 days, after which patients are sent for rehabilitation. The course of treatment (if the patient has no complications) is 5 weeks, but in some cases it can increase to 7 weeks.
In the treatment of complex dislocations of the elbow joint, in which the nerves of patients are affected, surgery is necessary, after which the patients are consulted by neurologists. Surgical intervention is also required in cases where the artery was damaged during the dislocation. During such an operation, the surgeon corrects the dislocation and restores blood circulation in the injured upper limb. After surgical treatment, patients need long-term rehabilitation, which sometimes lasts not for many months, and sometimes even years.
All, without exception, patients who have been diagnosed with dislocation of the elbow joint should undergo rehabilitation, the purpose of which is to restore the motor functions of the elbow joint.
Usually, patients undergo the following physiotherapy measures:
- laser therapy;
- magnetotherapy, etc.
Patients are greatly benefited by exercise therapy, during which the functionality of the damaged upper limb is restored. Patients should perform a set of exercises daily, doing up to 4 approaches. Physiotherapy exercises are carried out for 2 weeks, after which you can proceed to water procedures. Experts recommend that patients visit the pool, both with fresh and salt water. A few months after the injury, patients can begin to play sports, giving the elbow joint physical activity in doses.
In order to prevent dislocation of the elbow joint, people need:
- be careful when moving, especially in the winter season;
- do sport;
- eat the required amount of vitamins, minerals, calcium and other nutrients;
- in the event of pain in the elbow joint, contact a medical institution, etc.
Author of the article: Kaplan Alexander Sergeevich | Orthopedist
Education: diploma in the specialty "General Medicine" received in 2009 at the Medical Academy. I. M. Sechenov. In 2012 completed postgraduate studies in Traumatology and Orthopedics at the City Clinical Hospital named after Botkin at the Department of Traumatology, Orthopedics and Disaster Surgery.