Dislocated Elbow

Dislocated Elbow Treatment in Kansas City, MO

A dislocated elbow occurs when the bones that make up the joint are forced out of alignment, typically when you land on an outstretched hand and arm when falling. The elbow is the most commonly dislocated joint in children, and the second most commonly dislocated joint after the shoulder in adults. 

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A dislocated elbow can also cause some other issues associated with the arm or joint, calling for more specialized treatment. Some of these issues include but are not limited to:

  • Fracture
  • Pinched nerves
  • Trapped or pinched arteries within the joint
  • Osteoarthritis

Dislocated Elbow Symptoms

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Extreme pain
  • Obvious distortion of the joint

Sometimes the elbow is only partially dislocated, which can cause bruising and pain where the ligaments were stretched or torn.

How to Treat a Dislocated Elbow

Some dislocated elbows may go back by themselves, however, most need a doctor to manipulate the bones back to their correct alignment; this is a procedure called a reduction.

Below are more treatment options for a dislocated elbow:

  • Medications. Before a reduction, medication may be given to relieve pain and relax muscles.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy exercises to help strengthen and improve the range of motion in the joint may be needed. Sometimes a sling is required for a few weeks to allow the joint to heal.

Elbow Surgery may be needed if:

  • Any dislocated bones may also be broken
  • Torn ligaments need to be reattached
  • Damaged blood vessels or nerves need to be repaired

Relieving Pain After Treatment

Pain relievers, such as paracetamol, may be useful. You should use them as needed, but it is best to take them before the pain becomes unbearable.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a class of medications used to treat pain, swelling, and stiffness. Ibuprofen, a common NSAID, is available at pharmacies and supermarkets.

If you experience stomach problems after taking pain relievers or NSAIDs, you should discontinue use and consult your doctor. There are also anti-inflammatory creams or gels that you can apply to your elbow that will not cause stomach upset.

Forearm Fracture Doctors in Kansas City


If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, please contact Orthopedic Health of Kansas City and make an appointment with one of our Kansas City arm and elbow specialists.