Table of contents:

Elbow injury: causes, symptoms, treatment
Elbow injury: causes, symptoms, treatment

Any damage to the elbow joint is accompanied by pain. Trauma can occur under any circumstance in children and adults.


The structure of the elbow joint is very complex. It includes many parts, of which the main ones are the ulna, humerus and radius.

Nerves and blood vessels pass through the joint. A bruise or fall can injure the elbow. The resulting joint damage often causes dislocation, fracture or sprain.


Elbow contusion is common in children. Excessive mobility and frequent falls can injure the elbow.

For adults, everyday factors are more likely to cause injury.

It can be a strong push, hit, or squeeze. Falls are not excluded, especially in winter with ice.

The main symptom of injury is bleeding in the muscles and soft tissues near the elbow.

In such a situation, the patient is worried about the following symptom complex:

  • Hand movements are painful;
  • Fever and swelling of the joint;
  • The formation of a hematoma in the elbow area.

A person who has had a severe injury needs to be given first aid. By applying a cold compress, the pain will be reduced and the hemorrhage will stop. If the joint is severely bruised, damage to the ligaments may occur, so you should consult a doctor. He will conduct an examination and prescribe treatment. This will help avoid serious complications.


One of the most common mechanical injuries is elbow dislocation.

The main symptoms are:

  • Severe pain, swelling, and inability to move your arm;
  • Weak pulsation;
  • Damage to nerve endings and blood vessels.

Elbow injury requires immediate medical attention. Treatment is influenced by the age of the patient. In children, joint injury heals faster. The elasticity of the ligaments and muscles contributes to the fastest recovery.

The patient is given a referral for an X-ray examination, after which the specialist determines the degree of damage. After that, the doctor proceeds to reposition the joint. This procedure does not take much time and is practically painless. Then a splint is applied to the damaged joint for fixation for 7-10 days. If there is no rupture of the ligaments, no special treatment is required.


With a fracture of the elbow joint, two or three bones can be affected at the same time. With this type of injury, tendons, soft tissues, blood vessels, nerves and ligaments are often damaged.

Symptoms of a fracture include:

  • Sharp pain from fingers to forearm;
  • Restriction of mobility;
  • Movements unusual for a healthy elbow;
  • Severe swelling and hematoma in the area of the damaged joint;
  • Bleeding from damage to the skin or blood vessels.

Treatment for a fracture depends on the degree of damage to the joint. When some parts of the bone are displaced, more than 5 mm, surgical intervention is required.

If the bones are not shifted during the fracture, a plaster splint is used for fixation for an average of a month.

After its removal, the patient is prescribed physiotherapy treatment.


One of the types of damage to the elbow joint is sprain. Trauma occurs when the ligaments are partially damaged.

The reason for its appearance can be a sudden movement, blow or fall. Ligament sprain also occurs with sudden weight lifting or physical exertion.

Not only injuries can cause joint damage. Sometimes some diseases, such as diabetes or tuberculosis, cause sprains.

Sprains do not show symptoms immediately after injury. After 2, 5-3 hours, a swelling forms at the site of joint damage, and the pain begins to intensify. On palpation, a seal can be found in the elbow area. Sometimes subcutaneous hemorrhage occurs.

First aid to a person with an elbow injury consists in fixing the hand, giving it immobility. If the ligaments are damaged, it is useful to apply a cold compress to the affected area. This could be ice from the freezer, wrapped in a towel. The cold relieves pain and stops the formation of puffiness. In case of sprains, warming up procedures are recommended only 3 days after injury. The first days, thermal procedures are not allowed.

Normal sprains do not require special treatment. For the fastest healing of the ligaments, a fixing bandage is applied. With a complete rupture of intramuscular tissues, the ligaments are restored surgically.

For any injury, the patient is advised to take medication. Treatment is aimed at relieving pain and inflammation.

For these purposes, apply:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs in the form of tablets, ointments and injections;
  • Cooling ointments and gels that relieve puffiness;
  • Vitamin complex;
  • Preparations for relieving inflammation and accelerating the regeneration process of the ligaments.

For all injuries of the elbow joint, after removing the splint, remedial gymnastics is prescribed.

Folk methods

Traditional methods that are used in the rehabilitation period will help speed up the healing process. Such treatment will help relieve pain, swelling, and restore the affected tissue. The remedies are easy to make at home.

Recipe number 1

Peeled raw potatoes should be grated with a coarse grater. Then add an equal amount of chopped onion or honey to the potato gruel. Use the mixture for a compress, which should be kept for an hour or two.

Recipe number 2

Blue clay purchased at a pharmacy is diluted with water and 3-5 drops of fir or eucalyptus oil are added. Apply the composition to the fabric in a thick layer, apply to the damaged area.

Remove after the product dries.

Recipe number 3

To eliminate a bruise, you can prepare a compress from aloe leaves. To do this, they need to be crushed and distributed over the diseased area. To create a warm effect, cover the top with foil and a warm scarf.

Recipe number 4

Tincture of propolis will help relieve swelling and relieve pain in the elbow area. It is sold in pharmacies, but it is better to prepare it yourself. To do this, you need to place 6 grams of propolis in a dark glass bottle and add 200 grams of pure medical alcohol to it.

Keep container tightly closed for 6 days in a cool place. The finished mixture is used as a grind, or as a compress.

Before using traditional medicine recipes, you need to consult your doctor.

Elbow injury can be complicated by damage to the ligaments. In order to avoid serious complications in the future, it is imperative to consult a doctor. Only he will be able to determine the degree of damage and prescribe the correct treatment.

Popular by topic