Elbow fractures are a common injury among children and elderly men and women as the result of falling and landing wrong. Dr. Jonathan Oheb is an experienced orthopedic surgeon who expertly diagnoses and treats elbow fractures for patients of all ages in Encino and Mission Hills, California, and the surrounding areas. If you injure your elbow and are concerned it may be broken, it’s a good idea to seek treatment as soon as possible. Call either of Dr. Oheb’s offices, or schedule an appointment using the online system.
A fall on your elbow or another hard impact can cause fractures and strains at the same time, and you can break your elbow in multiple places. Your elbow is made up of three bones:
A fracture can occur in any of these elbow bones, or more than one at the same time. The three main types of elbow fractures are:
An olecranon fracture is when you break the tip of your elbow. This is the pointy part of your elbow that is part of your ulna. It creates a hinge in the joint so you can bend your elbow. An olecranon fracture typically occurs by itself, not involving your other are bones.
Radial head and neck fractures
If you fracture your radial bone (on the same side as your thumb), you’ll most likely have difficulty rotating your arm to turn your palm up or down. This type of fracture is often a more complex one and sometimes causes bone fragments that require surgery to repair them. Dr. Oheb may also need to remove or replace the radial head (top of the radial bone) if your bone fractures into multiple pieces.
Distal humerus fractures
A distal humerus fracture is a break in the upper arm bone close to the elbow. It’s among the most common fractures for children and elderly adults. In some cases, a distal humerus fracture may also be associated with nerve or artery injuries as well. This type of fracture usually requires surgery and the extra support of medical hardware, like plates and screws, to stabilize your bones.
Your treatment of an elbow fracture largely depends on the type and severity of the fracture. Dr. Oheb first examines and X-rays your elbow to determine the damage, so he can create a specific treatment plan that works best to heal your injury. Surgery may be the best approach for a complex fracture, but if you don’t require surgery, you may need a sling, cast, or splint to keep your elbow bones from moving out of place while you recover.
Age is also a factor in treating elbow fractures. Children often require a cast so they don’t move their arm, and also because there is less risk that their elbow joint will become stiff or arthritis. Adults, however, have a higher risk of stiffness if they don’t move their elbow for several weeks.
In the case of elderly patients, Dr. Oheb may use a sling and splint, and advise gentle exercises or massage to help keep the joint mobile and minimize stiffness or the potential of developing arthritis down the road.
Your recovery depends on the severity of your injury and the treatment you need to repair your elbow. Dr. Oheb explains the treatment plan to you so you’ll know what to expect. It can take a few weeks to a few months.
Dr. Oheb has two offices located conveniently in Los Angeles County and patients drive from all over just to see him. Patients travel from areas such as West Hills, Canoga Park, Winnetka, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Woodland Hills, Hidden Hills, Chatsworth, North Hills, Panorama City, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Mission Hills, San Fernando, Granada Hills, Porter Ranch, Sylmar, Santa Clarita, Burbank, and Glendale.
If you have an injury involving your elbow, don’t wait to contact one of Dr. Oheb’s offices. Call or schedule your appointment online as soon as possible.