What is an olecranon fracture?

An olecranon fracture is a break in the bony tip of the elbow. This rounded bone is part of the ulna, one of the three bones in the forearm that come together to form the elbow joint. Since the olecranon is not protected by much more than skin, it is susceptible to fracture from a fall or a direct blow to the elbow. An olecranon fracture may be painful and make it difficult to move the arm. Dr. James Mazzara, elbow surgeon serving Manchester, South Windsor, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities is skilled at treating an olecranon fracture.

What is an olecranon fracture fixation?

In an elbow fracture the bone can crack just slightly or break into many pieces. In a displaced fracture, the pieces of bone are out of place and need to be moved back into the correct position. An olecranon fracture fixation uses wires, pins, plates or screws to hold the bones, or “fix” them into place until they heal. Olecranon fracture fixation is usually done with an open surgery technique with the incision done over the back of the elbow.

Are you a candidate for olecranon fracture fixation?

There are two ways to initiate a consultation with Dr. Mazzara:

You can provide current X-rays and/or MRIs for a clinical case review with Dr. Mazzara.

You can schedule an office consultation with Dr. Mazzara.

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What happens after olecranon fracture fixation?

Initially, Dr. Mazzara will place the elbow in a cast, splint or brace to protect the healing olecranon and to keep the joint immobile. Physical therapy will be recommended, sometimes as early as the day after surgery to keep the elbow from getting stiff. It is important that patients follow the instructions given by Dr. Mazzara and his orthopedic team, so they can heal properly.

It is not unusual to be restricted from lifting heavy objects for the first 6 weeks. Patients are also advised against pushing or pulling activities such as opening doors or pushing up from a sitting position.

Since the olecranon is at the back of the elbow, sometimes the hardware that Dr. Mazzara has placed during olecranon fracture fixation may become irritating. In these cases, Dr. Mazzara can remove the hardware once the bone has completely healed. This is a typically a quick, minor operation.

For more information on olecranon fracture fixation, please contact the offices of Dr. James Mazzara, orthopedic elbow surgeon, treating patients in Manchester, South Windsor, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities.


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