Elbow Elbow Fracture Hand

6 signs of an elbow fracture

A young woman touching her painful elbow

An elbow fracture is another term for a broken elbow. It can result from a fall, a direct blow to the elbow, or an abnormal twisting of the arm. An x-ray can confirm if you have fractured your elbow, but how do you know whether to visit a hand surgeon or the emergency room? Here are 6 signs of an elbow fracture:

  1. Swelling and bruising of the elbow
  2. Extreme pain
  3. Stiffness in and around the elbow
  4. Snap or pop at the time of the injury
  5. Visible deformity
  6. Numbness or weakness in the arm, wrist and hand

Some elbow fractures are more severe than others. If the bones have not moved and have low risk of moving, a sling, cast or splint will be used to treat the injury. If the fracture is more severe, surgery may be required.

Learn more about the different types of elbow fractures, potential treatment options, and long-term side effects of this injury at www.handcare.org.

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  • Kelly
    December 5, 2018 at 12:00 PM

    Hi about 6 months ago I hit my elbow hard I struggled to move it for a few days it was very bruised at the time. 6 months later I am still getting abit of pain in it but my hand keeps going numb.not sure if this is normal or not.

  • Linda Richard
    November 9, 2018 at 11:55 PM

    Anybody home?? Too late for a response,??

  • November 9, 2018 at 11:51 PM

    I tripped over a wire several hours ago, went down on all fours. Wasn’t a pretty site, my knees hurt the most at first, but now my left elbow is hurting like crazy. I can almost so a complete bend but cannot touch my shoulder, it’s now starting to bruise and swell. I did not hear any pop or noise, I just wanted up. Sprain verses a break?! I’m in the middle of painting my condo and expecting a houseful of family for Thanksgiving. I’m 56 yrs old.

    • November 12, 2018 at 8:35 AM


      We highly recommend that you visit a hand surgeon as soon as possible, especially if you are seeing bruising and swelling. The only way to know if you’ve broken a bone is to get an x-ray. If you wait too long to seek treatment, you are risking permanent damage. You can find one of our board-certified hand surgeons near you at http://www.findahandsurgeon.com.

      American Society for Surgery of the Hand

  • Mason
    November 1, 2018 at 8:20 AM

    When I was playing volleyball with a big heavy ball, I had a chance to hit it so I did Then I herd a big pop and my friends did to and i’m only 11 years old and I was scared.

  • Kelly Jackson
    October 18, 2018 at 1:45 PM

    Fell on a hard kitchen floor. A small round bone is now in the wrong place. Some swelling, bruising and pain. Mobility is ok, able to extend and touch my shoulder, a little weakness. Will this heal on its own? I’m 52 and about 105 lbs., So age/bones concern me. Any suggestions

    • Truth
      October 27, 2018 at 8:26 PM

      people don’t care about anyone but themselves.

      You won’t find help here.

      Just people asking for it.

  • October 10, 2018 at 2:08 AM

    Hello I was rakeing in the my back yard and our neighbors or has a brick wall that separates our yards I back up while I was taking and I hit my left elbow I to the wall almost a month ago it really is painfulk and weak when I pick up items . It also cause me to feel sick inside.should I go to my doctor. Reason I ask is o had been going and had a bad pain in my left rid for the past three years after all extaus and blood tests he says he hi GS are all good but I still have pain .he says I don’t know what to do for you or who to send you to. So I didn’t want to tell him about my elbow .I can’t believe he could not help me with the first problrm .so what do I do now .

  • unknown
    October 8, 2018 at 4:35 PM

    my brothers pushed my door open really hard on my elbow it has swelled up and bruised and i can see some tiny diffrences in comparison i am in agony i dont know if its just a bad bruise or a fracture my arm feels very weak i think i am going to visit a doctor tommorow advice?

  • Taylor
    September 8, 2018 at 12:54 PM

    I hit my elbow on a metal desk at school it made a loud crack sound but there is no visible symptoms though, it hurts when I move my arm at all

    • Casey
      November 8, 2018 at 11:12 PM

      Me to but I was stupid and jumped over my brother I do it all the time then he put his hands up so I hit the ground hard and my elbow really hurts now

    May 14, 2018 at 3:30 AM

    I fell in November and the only thing that hit the ground was my elbow I don’t have insurance so I haven’t seen the Dr about it and last week my wrist had swelled up and the tip of the radius is not where it’s supposed to be at first I thought a stress fracture from my elbow except with the radius tip not in it’s correct place tells me it’s broke I have a brace of my own on it and after my shower before I put the brace back on I looked at my wrist and it’s going inward slightly I didn’t do anything to hurt my wrist I think it happened for over working due to my elbow and I’m sure by the time I get insurance they both will probably be fully broke is there a way other then the brace to help it heal?

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