Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ

Question:

When my son, who is now 21, was in fourth grade, he fell off a snow hill and a child landed on top of him. That caused a fractured forearm and a severely dislocated elbow. After six weeks of casting and therapy, he was able to use his arm, but not long after, he was shaking his arm vigorously to remove some dirt from his hands and his elbow popped out again. He was casted for another three weeks. Years later, he fell - but not hard - and it dislocated again. Now that he's an adult, he says he has problems with the elbow from time to time. Can this ever be fixed?

Answer:

Without knowing what exactly happened to your son's elbow, it's not possible to give you a specific answer. Usually, elbows are so well protected that repeat dislocations aren't a problem. That being said, that doesn't sound like your son's situation. Has your son gone to see any other orthopedic doctor since he has reached adulthood? It may be worth having the arm examined and perhaps re-x-rayed to see if there is anything that can be done to help stabilize it Durga Nagaraju Kowtharapu, MD et al. Osteochondral Flap Avulsion Fracture in a Child with Forearm Compartment Syndrome. In Orthopedics. August 2008. Vol. 31:805.

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