1004 W Linebaugh Ave Ste A, Tampa, FL 33612
Mon - Fri, 10 AM - 7 PM. Saturday by appointment
Licenses HCCA10302 & MM28422
(813) 443-5370

Elbow Rehabilitation After Fracture

Elbow Rehabilitation After Fracture

Elbow fractures and dislocations cause injury to vital stabilizing structures. Thus, after such injuries, patients need specific treatment to regain the functionality of the elbow joint.

Whether surgery or non-surgical treatment options are performed, appropriate rehabilitation following diagnosis of the injury pattern is crucial to gain the best possible results in each individual case.

Types of Elbow Fractures

Types of elbow fractures include:

Radial head and neck fractures

Radial head and neck fractures can easily occur with a broken elbow (when the joints in the elbow separate and come out of the socket). They are also common when you use your hands to break a fall.

Olecranon fracture

The olecranon is the bony tip of the elbow and part of the ulna. You can see it when bending your arm. Olecranon fractures are one of the most common elbow fractures since the bone is not protected by soft tissues such as tendons, muscles, or ligaments. If you experience a fall or direct blow to the olecranon, it can easily fracture.

Distal humerus fracture

The distal humerus connects the elbow to the shoulder joint. It meets the radius and ulna to make up the upper part of the elbow joint. These types of elbow fractures are uncommon.

Elbow Fracture Symptoms

If you experience any of the following elbow fracture symptoms, see our professional team at Palm Wellness Center in Tampa to determine if you have an elbow fracture:

  • Bruising that extends up the arm
  • Elbow deformity
  • Elbow instability
  • Elbow pain when moving the arm and elbow
  • Numbness in the elbow area and in one or more fingers
  • Swelling over the olecranon or tip of the elbow
  • Tenderness, redness, and warmth around the elbow
Elbow Rehabilitation After Fracture

Physical Rehabilitation Exercises After Elbow Fracture

A major issue with an elbow fracture is stiffness that limits one's range of motion. Sometimes, this stiffness stays long after the fractured elbow bones have undergone healing. To prevent this, we may have you start physical therapy right after the injury.

Your physical therapist in Tampa will work with you to help you regain normal alignment and use of your elbow and arm bones and promote bone healing. We may use many different physical therapy treatments and modalities to help you quickly return to normal activity.

Range of Motion Exercises

One of the main goals of physical therapy following an elbow fracture is to restore range of motion (ROM). To regain the full function of your arm, you need a full ROM of the elbow and forearm.

An early introduction of ROM therapy achieves better and faster results. If your ROM loss is serious, your physical therapist may have you wear a dynamic splint. This is a spring-loaded splint that is worn for the entire day. It provides a low-load stretch to your elbow to help improve your ROM. The splint is used to improve the bending and straightening of your elbow.

Strengthening Exercises

Pain and swelling in your elbow may stop you from using your arm. Wearing a sling can also limit you from using your elbow, wrist, and hand.

If you have had an open reduction internal fixation (ORIF), the muscles around the surgical incision may need time to heal. This period of disuse can cause a significant loss of strength around your elbow, shoulder, wrist, and hand.

Your physical therapist in Tampa can teach you the right way to wear your sling and can ensure it fits snugly. We can also prescribe exercises for your hand. These can help ensure your grip strength returns to pre-injury levels.

Pain Management

After an elbow fracture, you may have inflammation around your elbow. Your physical therapist at Palm Wellness Center can help you reduce pain and swelling. For instance, you might use ice or electrical stimulation. Joint mobilization and shortwave diathermy can help restore normal ROM. Shortwave diathermy is a type of heat treatment.

Scar Tissue Management

If you have had an open reduction internal fixation (ORIF), your physical therapist can help you manage scar tissues that may have formed. Scar tissue massage and mobilization help improve scar mobility. Your physical therapist can also teach you self-massage techniques.

Ongoing Care

Most patients should be able to return to normal activities within 4 months. For others, full recovery time can take up to a year. It is common to have a mild loss of mobility after this period. That's why it is important to continue the ROM and strengthening exercises that you learned in physical therapy. Continue your home exercise program after you've finished physical therapy. Be sure to ask your physical therapist about the expected outcomes for your specific case.

Recovery Period

Your recovery period depends on the severity of your injury. In most cases, people with elbow fractures will be in a cast or splint for at least 3 to 6 weeks. Several people can go back to their normal activities in about four months, though full healing can take a year or longer.

Elbow Fracture Risk Factors

Factors that increase your risk of developing an elbow fracture include:

  • Older adults are more likely to experience an elbow fracture.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Participating in sports such as football, hockey, wrestling, and gymnastics.
  • Being post-menopausal or having other conditions that lead to bone or mineral loss.
  • Having a condition that weakens the bones.

Elbow Fracture Prevention

While it is not possible to prevent all elbow fractures, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk, including:

  • Maintain strength and agility by exercising regularly.
  • Wear protective gear during recreational activities.
  • Learn proper techniques for your sport.
  • Take steps to reduce your likelihood of falling.

Get the Best Treatments and Care at Palm Wellness Center

For a physical rehabilitation program to treat elbow fractures, contact Palm Wellness Center. We will guide you through your rehabilitation and be there for you every step of the way. We will also discuss tips on how to prevent elbow fractures in the future. Schedule an elbow fracture appointment with us at (813) 443-5370 or visit www.palmwellness.center.

Related posts

Elbow Rehabilitation After Fracture

Elbow Rehabilitation After Fracture
Elbow rehabilitation after fracture is essential to proper healing. Elbow fractures are serious and have a...

Bursitis of the Shoulder Natural Treatments and Rehabilitation

Bursitis of the Shoulder Natural Treatments and Rehabilitation
Bursitis of the shoulder is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. Here are some options that may help...

Bicep Tendon Tear Rehabilitation Exercises

Bicep Tendon Tear Rehabilitation Exercises
In this blog, we discuss several types of Bicep Tendon Tear rehabilitation exercises. These exercises can help...
1 2 3 16
HIPAA PolicyPrivacy Policy
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram