The orthopedic surgeons of Slocum Center specialize in fracture care. In fact, we have been performing orthopedic surgery, such as fracture repair, for over forty years. Your procedure will be performed by a team whose experience is virtually unmatched in Eugene, the surrounding areas of Oregon, and throughout the Northwest.
When a person puts a hand out to break a fall, the force of the fall can travel up the lower forearm bones and dislocate the elbow. Breaks can also occur in the smaller bone of the forearm and the wrist. Radial head fractures are common injuries, occurring in about 20% of all acute elbow injuries. They are more frequent in women than in men and happen most often in people between 30 and 40 years of age. Approximately 10% of all elbow dislocations involve a fracture of the radial head. As the upper arm bone slides out of the joint, it can chip off a piece of the radial head, resulting in a fracture.
Generally, the cause is a fall or trauma.
Radial head fractures are treated according to the degree of displacement. Non-displaced and slightly displaced fractures are generally treated with a short term of splinting followed by range of motion exercises. Displaced fractures with more than three breaks cannot be fitted back together for healing, and there is usually significant damage to the joint and ligaments. In these cases, surgery is required to repair or remove the broken bits of bone and repair any associated soft-tissue damage.
Even the simplest of fractures will result in some loss of extension in the elbow. Physical therapy may be needed before resuming full activity.