Elbow fractures can equally occur in any of the elbow’s three elements - the inferior end of the humerus, the olecranon and the radial head - and can be total or partial and, in some cases, accompanied by vascular or nerve injuries with the presence of anterior linear ecchymosis, increased volume of the elbow and full functional disability. These are fractures that can therefore have serious complications, irreducibility, instability, open fractures, etc., making their evolution highly variable due to their complexity and extensive variability of fracture types.
Elbow Fracture ~ Symptoms
Symptoms vary depending on the type of fracture or dislocation-fracture, whether it has occurred by direct or indirect mechanism, whether the elbow was in flexion or extension or whether the impact was directly on the elbow. These aspects determine the type of fracture, which can be comminuted, open, etc., and the location of the action of the muscles at the time of the fracture is of great importance, due to the tension-traction exerted. Reparatory surgery is required in many cases to obtain good reduction. In any of the cases, pain, functional disability, oedema and ecchymosis, as well as other symptoms, indicate the presence of an elbow fracture.
Elbow Fracture ~ Orthotic Treatment
The use of orthoses as a conservative treatment can complement reparatory surgery and rehabilitation in the postoperative period. Featuring mechanical joints with systems to control and adjust flexion and extension, they enable the elbow to be immobilised for the first two weeks in a certain position and subsequently allow mobilisation, while acting as a fracture protection and stabilisation system. In the case of comminuted fractures, before initiating early mobilisation or rehabilitation, orthoses can prevent pain, articular stiffness and possible muscle atrophy, and allow early active or passive mobilisation of the elbow joint.