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Elbow fracture refers to a break in one or more of the bones that make up the elbow joint, including the humerus, ulna, and radius. It is a common injury that can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as trauma, falls, sports injuries, and accidents. Depending on the severity of the fracture, treatment may range from conservative methods to surgical intervention.


Elbow fractures can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Trauma or injury to the elbow, such as a fall, a direct blow to the elbow, or a sports injury.
  2. Repetitive stress or overuse, such as in athletes who perform repetitive arm motions or individuals who use their arms for heavy lifting or manual labor.
  3. Osteoporosis or other conditions that weaken the bones, making them more prone to fracture.
  4. Certain medical conditions that affect bone health, such as cancer or rheumatoid arthritis.
  5. Aging, as bones become more brittle and prone to fractures with age.


The symptoms of an elbow fracture may include:

  1. Pain in the elbow
  2. Swelling around the elbow
  3. Difficulty moving the elbow
  4. Bruising around the elbow
  5. Numbness or tingling in the fingers, which could indicate nerve damage
  6. A visible deformity or bump on the elbow, which may indicate a displaced fracture.

In severe cases, there may be an open wound, bleeding, or bone protruding through the skin.


An orthopedician plays a significant role in the treatment of elbow fractures. They are trained to diagnose and treat fractures of the bone and related injuries of the elbow joint. Their role includes:

  1. Diagnosis: An orthopedician will perform a physical examination of the elbow and may order imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI to confirm the diagnosis of an elbow fracture.
  2. Treatment: Treatment for elbow fractures depends on the severity of the injury. Orthopedicians may recommend immobilization of the elbow with a cast or brace to allow the bone to heal properly. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the fracture.
  3. Rehabilitation: After the bone has healed, an orthopedician may recommend physical therapy to help regain strength and mobility in the elbow joint.
  1. Follow-up: An orthopedician will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process and ensure that the elbow is functioning properly. They may also recommend regular checkups to monitor for any potential long-term complications, such as arthritis or nerve damage.


Chiropractors typically do not have a role in the initial management of elbow fractures, as these injuries often require urgent medical attention and may need surgical intervention. However, after the fracture has healed and the patient is in the recovery phase, a chiropractor may work with the patient to improve range of motion, strength, and flexibility in the affected elbow joint. They may use techniques such as mobilization, soft tissue therapy, and exercises to help the patient regain full function of the elbow joint.


Physiotherapy plays an important role in the rehabilitation of patients with elbow fractures. The primary aim of physiotherapy is to reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness, restore range of motion and strength, and improve function of the affected arm.

The physiotherapist will perform an initial assessment to determine the extent of the injury, including any associated muscle or nerve damage. They will then develop a treatment plan tailored to the individual patient’s needs.

Physiotherapy treatment for elbow fracture may include:

  1. Range of motion exercises: These exercises are designed to help restore the normal range of motion of the elbow joint. The physiotherapist may use gentle manual therapy techniques to help stretch the joint and surrounding tissues.
  2. Strengthening exercises: Strengthening exercises are used to help restore muscle strength and function. The physiotherapist will develop an exercise program based on the individual patient’s needs and goals.
  3. Soft tissue mobilization: This technique involves using manual pressure to manipulate the soft tissues around the elbow joint. It can help to reduce swelling and improve circulation to the affected area.
  4. Pain management: The physiotherapist may use a variety of techniques to help manage pain, including ice or heat therapy, electrotherapy, or manual therapy.
  5. Education: The physiotherapist will educate the patient on how to perform exercises and activities safely and how to avoid further injury.

Overall, physiotherapy can help patients with elbow fractures recover faster, reduce pain and stiffness, and regain normal function of the affected arm.


The physiotherapy treatment protocol in elbow fracture can vary depending on the type and severity of the fracture, as well as the individual patient’s needs and goals. However, here are some general guidelines for physiotherapy treatment:

  1. Immobilization: After the fracture, the elbow may need to be immobilized for a period of time to allow for proper healing. This may involve the use of a splint, brace, or cast.
  2. Pain and inflammation management: Pain and inflammation are common symptoms after an elbow fracture. Physiotherapy may involve the use of ice, heat, or electrical modalities such as ultrasound or TENS to help manage these symptoms.
  3. Range of motion exercises: Once the elbow has healed sufficiently, the physiotherapist will work with the patient to help restore normal range of motion. This may involve passive or active-assisted exercises, where the physiotherapist helps move the elbow through its range of motion.
  4. Strengthening exercises: Strengthening exercises are important to help restore the patient’s strength and function in the affected arm. These exercises may include resistance training with weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises.
  5. Functional exercises: Once the patient has regained their strength and range of motion, the physiotherapist will work on functional exercises that mimic the patient’s daily activities. This will help the patient regain their normal function and independence.

It is important to note that the physiotherapy treatment protocol for elbow fracture may vary based on individual patient needs and recovery progress.

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