An elbow dislocation occurs when any of the elbow bones are moved out of place. Falling with force onto your hand can push elbow bones out of place; this is the most common cause of cause an elbow dislocation. In some cases, elbow bones may fall back into place on their own, but still cause some pain or bruising.

Dislocating any of the bones of the elbow can cause the following symptoms:

  • Pain and swelling
  • Bruises
  • Inability to bend or move the elbow
  • Lack of feeling in the fingers
  • Arm looks obviously bent out of shape

Dislocated Elbow Treatment at MedStar Georgetown

To treat an elbow dislocation, our specialists will immediately perform a reduction maneuver, in which two doctors will hold your arm and twist it around to move your bones back into alignment

Treatment options aside from surgery for a broken elbow include: 

  • Splints and Casts –Wearing a splint, cast and/or sling will help keep your elbow bones in the right position as they heal. Your orthopedist will monitor your condition closely, and may repeat imaging tests to assess your progress. 
  • Physical therapy – Your orthopedist may recommend physical therapy or exercises to help you regain strength in your elbow and arm.

To treat an elbow dislocation, our orthopedists will immediately:

  • Give you pain medication and sedatives, if necessary
  • Perform a reduction maneuver, in which two doctors will hold your arm and twist it around to move your bones back into alignment

After realigning your elbow bones, you may then need to wear a splint or sling for a few weeks, and have physical therapy to regain strength and movement in the elbow. We will monitor your progress with X-rays to make sure your bones stay in place.

Elbow Surgery at MedStar Georgetown

In some cases, elbow dislocations require surgery. If your injury caused your bones to shift out of place or break through the skin, you may need surgery to restore the proper alignment and avoid infection.  During surgery, your orthopedic surgeon may use wires, screws, plates, or stitches to secure your bones back to the correct position. If your injury crushed portions of your bone, your surgeon may need to replace the lost bone with bone filler, which is human or artificial bone replacement material. If your elbow dislocation damaged blood vessels or nerves, you may need additional surgical procedures.

MedStar Georgetown offers the most advanced technology and surgical options in the region to repair broken bones and restore bone alignment in the elbows.

Learn more about the advanced surgical options we offer, which include:

Make an Appointment

For more information or to schedule an appointment with an elbow specialist, call our scheduling line. 

Phone: 202-295-0549