In elbow dislocation, the upper and two forearm bones in the elbow joint have completely shifted and are no longer together. Triggers are usually falls on the outstretched arm. In addition to the elbow luxation, typical accompanying injuries often develop, which can only be cured by surgery. Here you will find everything you need to know about elbow dislocation.
How does the elbow joint work?
The elbow joint consists of three partial joints. The ulna forms with the humerus a large hinge joint and allows the flexion and extension of the forearm. The body-near end of the spoke forms both a wheel joint with the ulna and a ball joint with the humerus. It allows the inner and outer rotation of the forearm and also works with the flexion or extension.
How does elbow luxation happen?
The elbow luxation is usually the result of a fall on the outstretched arm, which is overstretched in the elbow. The forearm bone slides backwards and jumps out of the ball joint. Other accident mechanisms are possible, but much less common. The same applies to elbow luxation: once it has occurred, the risk of further dislocation increases.
The typical accompanying injuries in elbow dislocation
Many accompanying injuries are also possible with elbow luxation. Often, a small bone protrusion of the ulcer breaks off, not infrequently also the head of the spine. If in addition the bands on the side of the Elle tear, one speaks of an “unhappy triad”. This injury constellation makes the elbow joint particularly unstable.
Elbow dislocation can also injure nerves, especially the ulnar nerve and the median nerve. Damage to these nerves leads to sensory disturbances on the fingers and part of the forearm, as well as movement disorders and loss of strength of the hand. The bending and spreading of the fingers then causes difficulties.
An elbow luxation with ossification of the surrounding tissue heals very well. This is due to inflammatory reactions around the injured joint. This can lead to considerable movement restrictions and is only bad to treat. With anti-inflammatory drugs to try to prevent this complication.
How is elbow luxation treated?
As soon as concomitant injuries are present, the elbow luxation is usually operated on, otherwise one tries to reduce the dislocation manually, ie to bring the articular surfaces back together (to recur).
After successful restraint, the patient is placed on a humeral plaster that holds the elbow joint in a right-angled position. After one week, the joint is X-rayed and tested in the function. If there is sufficient improvement, the plaster can already be removed and a movement orthosis adjusted, which stabilizes the joint for about six more weeks in his movement and secured. The elbow should be moved regularly during this time to prevent joint stiffening. It is a very common complication after one Elbow.