Your doctor will perform an x-ray to diagnose your elbow fracture and determine where the break has occurred. This will also rule out other injuries, like a dislocation. They may further check your hand, wrist, and arm for neural issues or blood flow problems that could stem from a fractured elbow.
If surgery isn’t required, the affected arm is kept in a sling until healing has taken place. A cast or splint may also be required.
Further treatment, in this regard, may include exercises, massage, heat, and ice.
For more serious fractures, surgery is often performed – especially where multiple breaks are present or smaller pieces have broken off. Screws, wires, and plates may be necessary to help stabilize and hold the bones together. If this is not done in more severe elbow fracture cases, improper healing may occur which could lead to long-term problems, including the inability to fully extend the elbow.
After healing has occurred, you’ll be advised to slowly ease back into your regular activities. You’ll also be instructed on effective rehabilitation exercises to regain strength and range of motion.
Unfortunately, recovery of an elbow fracture is long in many cases. For some, it can take up to 6 months to fully recover.