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Elbow Dislocation


Elbow Dislocation Specialist

Individuals who have suffered a fall onto an outstretched hand or a traumatic injury such as a motor vehicle accident are at a higher risk of elbow dislocation, which occurs when the bones that make up the joint are forced out of alignment. Elbow dislocation specialist, Dr. Kelechi Okoroha provides diagnosis and individualized management for elbow dislocation in Minneapolis. Contact Dr. Okoroha’s team for an appointment today!

What is Elbow Dislocation?

The arm in the human body is made up of three bones that join to form a hinge joint called the elbow. The upper arm bone or humerus connects from the shoulder to the elbow to form the top of the hinge joint. The lower arm or forearm consists of two bones, the radius, and the ulna. These bones connect the wrist to the elbow forming the bottom portion of the hinge joint.

The bones are held together by ligaments to provide stability to the joint. Muscles and tendons move the bones around each other and help in performing various activities. Elbow dislocation occurs when the bones that make up the joint are forced out of alignment.

Causes of Elbow Dislocation

Elbow dislocations usually occur when you fall onto an outstretched hand. It can also occur from a traumatic injury such as a motor vehicle accident.

When an elbow dislocation is suspected, it is important to schedule an orthopedic consultation for proper examination and care. Dr. Kelechi Okoroha is elbow dislocation specialist who provides detailed examination and care for patients with elbow dislocations in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Minnesota and beyond.

Symptoms of Elbow Dislocation

When the elbow is dislocated you may experience severe pain, swelling and lack the ability to bend your arm. Sometimes, you cannot feel your hand or may have no pulse in your wrist because arteries and nerves that run along your elbow may be injured.

Diagnosis of Elbow Dislocation

To diagnose elbow dislocation, Dr. Okoroha will examine your arm. He will check the pulses at the wrist and evaluate the circulation to the arm. An X-ray is necessary to determine if there is a break in the bone. An arteriogram, an X-ray of your artery, can be helpful to determine if the artery is injured.

Treatment Options for Elbow Dislocation

An elbow dislocation is a serious injury and requires immediate medical attention. After careful examination, Dr. Okoroha will provide an individualized treatment plan to help you return to your normal function.

Things You can do at Home when you have an Elbow Dislocation

At home, you may apply an ice pack to the elbow to ease pain and swelling. You can also check if the arteries and nerves are injured. You can feel your pulse by pressing the tips of your fingers at the base of your wrist. They should turn white or blanch and a pink color should come back in 3 seconds. To check for nerve injury, first, bend your wrist up and move your fingers apart and then touch your thumb to your little finger. You can also check for numbness all over your hand and arm. If you have a problem with any of these tests you need to see Dr. Okoroha right away.

What Dr. Okoroha Does to Treat an Elbow Dislocation

Dr. Okoroha will put your dislocated elbow back in place by pulling down your wrist and levering your elbow. This procedure is known as a reduction. As it is a painful procedure you may be given medications to relieve your pain before the procedure. After the reduction, you may have to wear a splint to immobilize your arm at the elbow. After a few days, you may also need to perform gentle motion exercises to improve the range of motion and strength.

If you have experienced an elbow dislocation, please contact Dr. Kelechi Okoroha, orthopedic elbow specialist treating patients in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Minnesota and beyond.