Elbow Dislocation (posterior)

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INJURY TITLE

Elbow Dislocation (posterior)

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

Very serious injury for an elbow to sustain.  Usually occurring following a fall from a height.  There is the possibility of one or more associated fractures when this happens.

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

The major complication here is not really the dislocation or the fractures.  It is more to do with stopping the blood flow to the forearm.

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Following trauma (e.g. falling from a height)
  • Gross loss of function
  • Severe pain and significant swelling
  • Possible sensation disturbances throughout the forearm

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

  • Clinical examination to establish the presence of normal pulses (a sign of normal blood flow)
  • X-Ray to highlight any associated fractures and loose bone fragments that could prevent joint movement in the future.

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

  • Immediate reduction of the dislocation is ideal
  • Check pulses post reduction
  • Ligament integrity tests
  • Immobilisation
  • Gradual manual therapy to prevent loss of the ability to straighten the arm (a common problem after such an injury)

 

Exercise Videos: i.e.

  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Pec stretch
  • etc

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X

MEDIC     X

PODIATRY     

Put an ‘X’ next to each health professional that most commonly deals with this injury.

i.e. tennis elbow would be Physio and Medic as injections are common, whereas for muscular LBP it would be Physio and not Medic as they would just refer them to a Physio.

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