Elbow Dislocation Surgeon in Spartanburg, SC, Duncan, SC, and Greenville, SC

Understanding Elbow Dislocation: What Happens When Your Elbow Gets Dislocated?

An elbow dislocation is a severe injury involving the separation of the elbow bones, either partially or completely. This type of injury is classified as a medical emergency, requiring immediate attention. The bones must be returned to their proper anatomical positions promptly. If you’re in Spartanburg, Duncan, or Greenville, SC, seeking immediate care from a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates (CONA) elbow specialist is crucial following such an injury.

What Does a Dislocated Elbow Feel Like?

If you’re worried about an elbow dislocation, be on the lookout for:

  • Intense Pain: One of the most immediate and noticeable symptoms is severe pain in the elbow, which often becomes more pronounced when trying to move the arm.
  • Visible Deformity: The elbow may appear out of shape or in an abnormal position. This is usually a clear indication that the elbow bones have been dislocated.
  • Swelling and Bruising: The area around the elbow often swells and may show bruising. This is a result of the trauma to the soft tissues around the joint.
  • Inability to Move the Elbow: A limited range of motion or a complete inability to move the elbow is common. Attempting to move the elbow often increases pain.
  • Numbness or Weakness: In some cases, numbness or weakness in the arm, wrist, or hand may occur, possibly due to nerve damage or pressure caused by the dislocation.
  • A “Popping” Sensation: Some individuals report feeling a pop in their elbow at the time of injury, indicating that the bones have moved out of place.

These symptoms are commonly triggered by a fall onto an outstretched arm, leading to the dislocation of the elbow.

How is an Elbow Dislocation Diagnosed?

A dislocated elbow can usually be identified through a visible deformity. However, for a definitive diagnosis, medical imaging is necessary. X-rays are employed to assess the position of the elbow bones and the extent of their separation. In cases where ligament damage is suspected, an MRI might be performed. This comprehensive diagnostic approach allows for a tailored treatment plan, addressing both symptom relief and injury management.

First Steps in Treatment: What Should You Do If You Dislocate Your Elbow?

The immediate treatment goal for a dislocated elbow is to realign the elbow bones anatomically. After alignment, a CONA specialist in Spartanburg, Duncan, or Greenville may recommend:

  • Immobilization using a cast, splint, or sling to support healing
  • Medications for pain relief and to reduce inflammation
  • A regimen of physical therapy to restore movement and strength

When Surgery is Necessary: What are the Surgical Options for a Dislocated Elbow?

In some cases, where nonsurgical treatments do not provide sufficient stabilization, surgery may be the recommended course of action. A CONA specialist will perform surgery to repair any torn ligaments, ensuring the elbow is securely stabilized post-operation.

Why Choose Carolina Orthopaedic & Neurosurgical Associates for Elbow Dislocation?

At CONA, we understand the urgency and complexity of treating elbow dislocations. Our team of specialists in Spartanburg, Duncan, and Greenville are dedicated to providing personalized care, from accurate diagnosis to effective treatment and recovery plans.

With our comprehensive approach, we ensure that you receive the best possible care for your dislocated elbow, aiming to restore your elbow’s function and your quality of life. 

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