How Does it Happen ?
Injuries to this part of the bone most of the time involve the elbow joint. It happens when you fall and land on the elbow. This is a very serious injury.This should only be treated operatively. Any other treatment will result in very serious consequences and deformities. This injury needs urgent medical attention.
What changes can occur with injuries to this area?
The joint may show significant swelling. Nerve and blood supply to the forearm may be damaged compromising survival of tissues in the forearm. You may feel the fingers going numb.
Any first aid that can be done?
You may splint the arm as it is. Apply some ice over the site. Apply a collar and cuff if the elbow can be bent.
What tests will be done?
A plain x-ray is a must in this fracture. CT scan will be arranged in serious fractures.
How could this be treated?
Simple brakes can be operated without delay. Most of the time, the bone will be fixed with a plate and screws.
In other cases, the operation is done once the swelling settles down. This will take couple of days. Until such time the arm is put in a plaster slab/external fixating frame.
There are specially design plates and screws to fix fracture of this part of the bone. This is done under general anaesthetic. You will have a surgical wound over the back of your elbow. The arm will be supported with a plaster slab after the operation.
If the blood supply to the forearm is affected or if the forearm shows gross swelling accompanying with severe pain, you will be subjected to skin releasing surgical incisions over forearm under general anaesthetic. This will avoid damage to muscles in the forearm from compromised oxygen supply. The bone fixation may get delayed in such instances.
How long will it take to heal?
The wound will heal in about ten days. Swelling will take about two weeks to settle. The fracture usually heals in six weeks. Time may be longer in difficult cases.
When can I start joint movement?
The elbow is likely to develop stiffness with slightest injury and with a short period of immobilization. Joint movement can be commenced as early as two weeks after a stable fixation. It will take some time to get back to normal level of activity.