What is the treatment for a broken elbow or an olecranon fracture?
The treatment for an olecranon fracture will depend greatly on the severity of the break. If the bones are displaced and if there is joint involvement, surgery may be necessary. Fractures that are in place may be treated non-surgically.
For elbow fractures that are not displaced, Dr. Mazzara may recommend a sling or a splint to keep the elbow in place while it heals. Frequent x-rays will be necessary to ensure the bones are healing in the proper position. A splint is typically worn for 3 to 6-weeks and physical therapy is recommended after the bone has healed.
Large, displaced or open (when the bone punctures through the skin) elbow fractures require surgery. The goal of olecranon surgery is to place the pieces of elbow back into the proper position and to keep them in place for proper healing. Dr. Mazzara may perform an olecranon fracture fixation. This procedure is sometimes called an ORIF or Open Reduction and Internal Fixation and involves realigning the bone fragments to their correct anatomical position. Dr. Mazzara may use a bone graft if needed; he may also remove tiny fragments of bone that would not heal properly. Often surgical pins and a tension band may be used.
For more information on olecranon fractures or how to treat a broken elbow, please contact the offices of Dr. James Mazzara, orthopedic elbow surgeon, treating patients in Manchester, South Windsor, Enfield, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities.