Bone and joint fractures are very common in a lot of people and it might be super painful to deal with too, depending on the severity of the fracture. Same is with elbow fracture. You need the expertise of an orthopedic elbow specialist to recover quickly. Here is everything you need to know about an olecranon fracture.
An olecranon fracture, or simply an elbow fracture occurs in the elbow joint. Before going into the nature of the fracture, it’s important that you know the anatomy of the elbow and how it works. The elbow is a union of three bones, the humerus, radius and ulna. These bones are held together by many ligaments and tendons. This union of bones creates a complex joint which causes the elbow to move in many directions and also act as a hinge. It is not only useful for providing strength to the arm, but it also aids in a lot of movement and simple actions which your elbow does on an everyday basis.
The fracture usually occurs in the pointy side of the elbow which sticks out. This is basically an olecranon fracture. The bones may be fissured, cracked or there might be some impact which causes the bones to become unhinged from their original place and hence, they are fractured.
Causes Of An Olecranon Fracture
Here are some very common causes of an olecranon fracture.
- You can get a fractured elbow by falling directly on your elbow. Your elbow is a very delicate bone and one wrong impactful move can shatter or at least fracture the bone, which can be quite painful to endure.
- An accident where your outstretched arm is affected. This also affects the triceps muscle, which is directly attached to the olecranon.
- You might play some type of sports where your elbow is engaged at all times and strain to the elbow can cause it to fracture.
- Your ligaments or tendons might weaken which will cause the bones to fall apart and not be fused together. This weakens the bone altogether and any small to medium impact or force can cause the elbow to become either dislocated, or worse, fractured.
Symptoms Of An Olecranon Fracture
Here are some symptoms of an olecranon fracture.
- First thing’s first, any bone fracture will lead to a lot of pain, so it’s no surprise that you will feel immense pain when you try to move your elbow or even when it is stationary.
- Your arm and your elbow might feel numb. Sometimes, when the bone gets fractured, it may affect the nerve endings surrounding the area and this will cause numbness or that very familiar tingling sensation.
- If the impact was a lot, you will also see bruises starting to form on your elbow where you took the hit.
- In some cases, you will also see the protruded part of the elbow being weirdly shaped. This is very common to see when the fractures are very severe. You can see visible dislocation.
- Tenderness in the affected area is also very common.
- You will also feel radiating pain traveling from your elbow to your arm.
- Swelling on the tip or the pointy part of the elbow is also very common.
Preventive Action And Treatment Of An Olecranon Fracture
Here are some things you can do to treat an olecranon fracture or prevent it in the future.
- Non-surgical treatments include putting on a cast or splint. This will keep your elbow in place while it heals completely.
- You can try to put on ice on the areas where there is swelling and pain. It will numb your elbow pain.
- Try pain medication for relief from the excruciating pain.
- If surgery is necessary, then you will need to put the bone back in place, if the fracture is too far gone.
- Try not to put too much stress and impact on your elbow, when doing things like resting on your arm or playing a certain sport. This will help a lot.
There you have it! Now you know everything there is to know about an olecranon fracture, starting from its symptoms and causes, down to its treatment and prevention. Talk to your elbow injury doctor Woodbridge for treatment and surgery options.