Fractures of the elbow joint: types, symptoms, treatment, rehabilitation
The elbow joint is quite complex. The presented part of the upper limbs is formed by the radial and ulnar bones that connect with the shoulder tissue. Inside the main elbow joint there are several small ones. Through the represented area, there are large nerves and blood vessels responsible for the mobility of the entire limb. Therefore, fractures of the bones of the elbow joint in addition to the difficulty of motor functions and the development of a serious pain syndrome are fraught with a whole mass of complications.
What kind of therapy is used for damage to this plan? How to treat fractures of the elbow joint? What is required for rehabilitation? We will try to answer the submitted questions.
Causes of injuries
The elbow joint is extremely vulnerable to damage, since there is no tight muscular skeleton, which can provide reliable support and protection of the represented part of the upper limb. Particularly often, this area is subjected to stress in toddlers who show excessive activity and often fall into situations fraught with the occurrence of trauma.
Obtaining a fracture of the elbow is possible both as a result of the fall, and because of the significant shock load on this area. The most common damage to bone tissue is internal.
Types of fractures
The following types of injuries of bone tissue of the elbow joint stand out:
- The closed fracture of the elbow joint is characterized by damage to the radius, its neck and head. Most often occurs as a result of excessive load when you rest on a straight limb.
- Open fractures of the elbow joint - in addition to the appearance of cracks in the structure of the bone, fragments damage soft tissues. In severe cases, the skin ruptures, a gaping wound is formed, which is accompanied by a profuse loss of blood.
- The fracture of the coronary process results from significant shock loads on the bone tissue. Such injuries are rare. Damage to this plan is characterized by consequences in the form of displacement and dislocation of the forearm.
Also, a fracture of the elbow joint is distinguished with and without bias. Often with such injuries, one bone suffers.
The following signs may indicate on the elbow fracture:
- Presence of sharp sustained pain that gives to the wrist and wrist.
- Limited limb mobility or complete paralysis.
- Unhealthy, non-human mobility of the hand in the area of the elbow joint, for example in the lateral direction.
- Appearance of edema, formation of bluish hematoma, subcutaneous bruising.
- Neurological symptoms - numbness of fingers and hands, tingling of the forearm.
- Damage of blood vessels, muscle tissue, skin( open fractures of the elbow joint).
A clear sign of severe damage to the elbow joint is severe pain in the back of it. Gradually, swelling and bruising form on the anterior surface of the injured area. In the following, the ability to bend the hand is lost. The injured limb hangs limply. When performing the movement of the forearm, muscle stiffness is felt.
After a bone fracture, the ability to extend the hand remains. However, raising the limb and rotating it to the sides cause significant discomfort.
First aid tactics for fracture of the elbow joint are chosen based on the specificity of the lesion and its severity. Be that as it may, the paramount task here is the complete immobilization of the limb. For this, it is recommended to resort to tire overlap. In this case, the arm is bent at a right angle, after which it is securely fixed. If it is necessary to eliminate the unbearable pain syndrome, analgesics are used.
Conservative treatment of
In the absence of trauma in open form resort to conservative therapy. During the first 6-7 days after the fracture, usually there is volumetric edema. Until the pathological manifestation disappears, a long gypsum dressing is applied to the hand. Avoid the load on the damaged limb for up to 3 weeks.
As the bone tissue is connected, the arm is periodically released from the plaster to develop the joint. Over time, this bandage is replaced with a rigid retainer, which has a system for adjusting the amplitude of movements.
Open fractures of the elbow joint, which are characterized by the displacement of fragments, require an operation. Otherwise, the ability of the forearm to bend may not recover.
The success of operative therapy directly depends on the accuracy of the operations of the surgeon-traumatologist, in particular the comparison of fragments of bone tissue, their verified fixation in anatomically correct position. The center of traumatology and orthopedics is capable to provide carrying out of similar operation.
With the usual damage to the structure of the end of the ulna, therapy is aimed at tightening the tissues with a medical wire loop. Sometimes additional fixation of bones in a static position with spokes is required.
If you have to treat internal fractures of the elbow joint with the formation of fragments, the therapy is based on bone plastic. In such situations it is difficult to tighten the tissues with a loop, as this can lead to shortening of the joint surfaces. Instead, resort to the use of compression dynamic plates.
In cases where there are signs of bone fragmentation, the center of traumatology and orthopedics can offer the patient the replacement of body tissue with a special prosthesis. Implants are made of plastic and metal. Their installation takes place using bone cement.
Possible complications of
A disappointing consequence of a fracture of the elbow joint may be complete or partial loss of limb mobility. The prerequisite for this is maintaining a sense of discomfort or impressive pain at the end of the course of therapy. Avoid these manifestations can be, following the recommendations of the attending physician.
To prevent the occurrence of complications in children, in particular loss of limb functionality, treatment should be performed under the supervision of adults. First of all, the injured hand should be completely at rest throughout the course of therapy. The child should not load a limb, perform sharp movements. The admission of such negligence can lead to a repeated fracture.
Actions aimed at restoring the healthy functionality of the limb, suggest:
- curative gymnastics;
- physiotherapy procedures.
Joint development with the help of physiotherapy is possible already in the first day after fixing the limb with a plaster bandage. Naturally, in this case, avoid bending the arm at the elbow. The main emphasis is on the movement of the fingers and wrist. The injured person is recommended in lying position to wound the injured limb by the head, straining the muscles of the forearm and shoulders. Such solutions contribute to the removal of swelling as a result of activation of lymph outflow from tissues.
When restoring the ability of the joint to flexion, it goes to its gradual development. To do this, the main part of the cast is removed, after which the measured, unsharp movements of the limb are performed. In rehabilitation with the help of therapeutic gymnastics it is forbidden to bend and unbend the arm completely, as this can cause a repeated fracture.
The massage is used only after the complete removal of the cast. And the effect is on the muscles of the shoulder girdle and back in a sparing mode. Regular execution of such procedures can eliminate pain syndrome, strengthen atrophied muscles, stretch the ligament and eventually completely restore the mobility of the hand.
As for physiotherapy, it is recommended to alternate with physiotherapy. Here resort to methods of UHF, magnetic therapy, electrophoresis, treatment with healing mud.
As a summary, it should be noted that the victim after discharge from the hospital needs to clarify for himself a few questions. It should be clarified by the attending physician how to make movements in the elbow joint when it is possible to weight the limb, how to avoid relapses and complications, what can be expected in the near future.