Radial head fractures are a common type of elbow injury can occur with a fall onto an outstretched hand. The energy from the fall sometimes results in an elbow fracture (broken bone). Elbow fractures can be easily missed on exam and xray and need careful evaluation and follow up if there is high suspicion of injury. With early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, most fractures heal well. If you are concerned about a possible fracture from an elbow injury, we are interested in diagnosing the injury, helping you better, understand the injury and recover.
Radial head fracture
This type of elbow fracture commonly occurs when someone falls onto an outstretched hand. These are common injuries in children and adults. Most individuals with this type of bone injury will notice elbow stiffness, loss of motion, swelling, and pain that is bothersome enough to be seen by a physician
It is important to see a physician such as a sports medicine specialist who has experience treating this type of elbow injury in order to have a thorough examination of the elbow and arm. At times, elbow injuries also result in injuries to the wrist or shoulder as well. Sometimes the combination of ultrasound and x-rays can sometimes can help identify a small fracture initially.
Avulsion (chip) fractures are common around the elbow and can involve the olecranon process where the tricep attaches, the corocoid process of the ulna along the anterior (front) of the elbow, or the medial epicondyle where a ligament called the ulnar collateral ligament attaches. .
While most individuals with this injury have excellent outcomes, sometimes stiffness and loss of motion occur. A sports injury specialist can help guide treatment and help return you back to sports and work activity once strength and motion have improved.