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.

You may also like
How to remove a stuck ring
Guide to Comparing Safety Gloves
How to know if you have Cold Hand Disease
36 Comments
  • April 16, 2019 at 11:33 PM
    Reply

    Well a few days ago Saturday evening, I was taking few people to a thrift store.. went in and didn’t want anything, one person I took went downstairs I followed shortly after and went down the stairs and slipped on the 3rd step landing on my back, but unfortunately my left elbow hit hard enough it was tender at first then I felt numbness in my arm, unable to move it. Called off work and slept with an ice back.. now the bruise is more noticeable and idk if I maybe fractured something and don’t realize it but it’s my left arm I barely use it unless I’m lifting stuff at work or needed an extra hand but when I do move it, it’s slowly gradually moves but doesn’t bend very far so idk if that’s an issue

  • Hannah
    April 8, 2019 at 8:19 PM
    Reply

    I hit my elbowon a metal door at 10:30am and it is currently 8:20pm. It is still hurting and I don’t know what to do about it. what do I do?

    • Luis
      April 16, 2019 at 4:07 AM
      Reply

      I recently fell playing basketball and I fell on my elbow I have it bruised a d my doctor told me to wait 5-7 days it got better so he gave me a sling now it pass a week and it got better but I cant put it straight. What should I do

  • Rahul
    April 4, 2019 at 1:15 AM
    Reply

    My left hand elbow got broken when i was 10 year old. Doctor joined it incorrectly, flow of hand goes in wrong side. parents consulted with doctors they suggested to let that be.
    No I am 25 years old and when i goes to zym or picks weight joints gives a slow sound like “ktt”.. and some times this creates a sensation in hand.
    what is the probable solution?

    • Lauren Waller
      April 6, 2019 at 4:43 PM
      Reply

      Ok so that is interesting.!

  • Breanna Sweitzer
    March 3, 2019 at 4:21 PM
    Reply

    I fell a few days ago and hit my elbow hard on a door. It hurts when I straighten it or try to lift certain objects. There are no bruises or swelling but it hurts pretty bad. What should I do about it?

  • Monica
    February 1, 2019 at 12:36 AM
    Reply

    Hello, I recently have developed pain around my left elbow for about a week now. I don’t recall injuring it since I haven’t had a fall or anything but i do have some bruising around it and it hurts to extend or bend it. I’ve also noticed my grasp is weak in that arm as well. What could this be?

    • Lauren Waller
      April 6, 2019 at 4:40 PM
      Reply

      You could’ve damaged some nerves in your elbow near your humerus bone. If it keeps hurting I would advise you to go and get it x-rayed. If it’s not a fracture it could also be a soft tissue injury and they can take the same amount of time to heal as a fracture, if you’re in pain, take some medication and hopefully it will go away. Go to your general practitioner if it keeps hurting. I’m not a doctor but they can give you more advice. I hope I have helped you.

  • Becky
    January 30, 2019 at 8:50 AM
    Reply

    I fell on my icy concrete steps yesterday and hit my funny bone full force. There is swelling, tenderness and bruising at the site. But, I also am feeling weird numbness and tingling down my arm. Could I have broken something?

  • Mark Allan Strohecker
    January 28, 2019 at 8:50 AM
    Reply

    I fell down on my icy cement steps..I had it x ray and They said they saw no fracture.But the arm is badly bruised,pain,a funny bone feeling from my elbow to my hand and fingers and don’t let up.And I feel like a chipped bone.Could they have missed something?

  • Amanda
    January 26, 2019 at 8:34 PM
    Reply

    Hello, I
    Just found your site after looking up pain at wrist after hitting between my elbow bones and experiencing shooting pain running up to my wrist 12 hours ago.

    I have no swelling anywhere and the pain is now only at outside of wrist below pinky finger and only when I lean on right shoulder, bend arm tightly into my chest or prop myself up with that arm and elbow. I am travelling overseas right now and was hoping for reassurance that with rest, and perhaps ice, this will be fine and won’t need to seek medical attention. I appreciate you can not diagnose me in your comment section but are there things I should look out for to know if I must seek medical attention sooner than later? Thank you so much for your informative site and your time!

    • Benjamin Jacobs, MD
      January 28, 2019 at 10:20 AM
      Reply

      Hello Amanda,

      I’m sorry to hear that this happened to you. As you guessed, it is difficult to help much with a specific injury like yours in this setting. With what you describe, you may be fine with rest and the passage of time, but I have to encourage you to seek some further attention. I understand that the logistics of your overseas travel may make this difficult, but a trip to an urgent care may suffice. Good luck with your arm and your travels.

      Sincerely,
      Dr. Jacobs

    • Amy
      February 1, 2019 at 8:26 AM
      Reply

      I have similar symptoms resulting from a lateral radial head fracture. The pain was so minimal I avoided seeking medical care for a full week. Due to direction of fracture and lack of displacement, I was not casted and surgery was not necessary on this complete fracture. I am stunned at the lack of pain and would predict far more after seeing the images. Luckily a sling is all it required.

  • Jasmine Johnson
    January 22, 2019 at 10:20 AM
    Reply

    A sudden, hard blow to my elbow on a table top has left me with intense pain upon movement of my arm, exercises, putting on and taking off clothes, and pain to the touch. Putting any pressure or weight on the arm with the injury also causes intense pain. Should I consult a doctor, or is this a common injury that will heal with time?

    • January 22, 2019 at 11:22 AM
      Reply

      Jasmine,

      If you are in intense pain as you described, we highly recommend that you see a hand specialist as soon as possible. You can find a board-certified surgeon near you at http://www.findahandsurgeon.com.

      Sincerely,
      Staff
      American Society for Surgery of the Hand

  • Narayani
    January 20, 2019 at 12:31 AM
    Reply

    I twisted my hand a month ago in a bus ride. I did visited the doctor as I was in terrible pain. The doctor told me some tissues are torn other then that I’m fine. Till today I’m still have the muscle pain in my right hand. To make things I had a fall and the part above my elbow is swollen and pain. I’m still confused if I should consult a doctor about this? When I turn my hand like twisting it I’m having pain.

    • January 20, 2019 at 11:09 AM
      Reply

      Narayani,

      Yes, you should certainly still consult a doctor about this. We highly recommend that you visit a hand surgeon as soon as possible. You can find a board-certified surgeon on http://www.findahandsurgeon.com.

      Sincerely,
      Staff
      American Society for Surgery of the Hand

  • Robin
    December 17, 2018 at 9:29 PM
    Reply

    I fell like 2 weeks go and notice pain and swelling .right at the crease at the topif I was to bend my arm hurts on something’s like extending and bending and holding things and opening thing

  • corinna
    December 13, 2018 at 7:20 AM
    Reply

    Hi two days ago I fell with a outstretched arm and it was swelling, pain when moved and touched, its stiff and my arm has been numb for a while my parents won’t take me to the doctor either.

    • December 13, 2018 at 7:55 AM
      Reply

      Corinna,

      We highly recommend that you see a hand specialist right away. The longer you delay, the higher your risk of permanent damage. You can find a specialist near you by visiting our website at http://www.findahandsurgeon.com. All of the surgeons in the search tool are board-certified members of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

      Best,
      Staff
      American Society for Surgery of the Hand

  • Kelly
    December 5, 2018 at 12:00 PM
    Reply

    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
    Reply

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

  • November 9, 2018 at 11:51 PM
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      Linda,

      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.

      Best,
      Staff
      American Society for Surgery of the Hand

  • Mason
    November 1, 2018 at 8:20 AM
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      people don’t care about anyone but themselves.

      You won’t find help here.

      Just people asking for it.

      • unknown
        December 13, 2018 at 7:23 AM
        Reply

        you are being an evil troll thats not nice to say

  • October 10, 2018 at 2:08 AM
    Reply

    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 .

    • Lochy
      January 19, 2019 at 7:43 AM
      Reply

      The same thing happened to me and I just aced rapped it and but it in a sling and boom 2 mins this later it was fine

    • Lochy
      January 19, 2019 at 7:43 AM
      Reply

      The same thing happened to me and I just aced rapped it and but it in a sling and boom 2 mins this later it was fine . That’s my story

  • unknown
    October 8, 2018 at 4:35 PM
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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

  • DELORES CAUTHORN
    May 14, 2018 at 3:30 AM
    Reply

    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?

Leave Your Comment

Your Comment*

Your Name*
Your Webpage