Elbow Dislocation – Things to Know

Elbow Dislocation – Things to Know


An elbow dislocation is a painful condition in which any of the three bones in the elbow joint move out of place or are separated. It makes the elbow unstable and in some cases, elbows are not even able to move. It affects and damages the ligaments of the elbow and the surrounding muscles, nerves, and tendons. It may lead to some major injuries like fractures, and injuries to the arteries in the arm and the nerves that may cause impaired movement and feeling in the hand and the arm.

What are the causes?

There are various causes such as –

Traumatic injuries such as car accident

Falling with the arm out

Sports injuries


Joint disorders such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

Injury, Arm, Injured, Hurt, Man, Elbow, Pain, Bandage

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What are the symptoms?

An elbow dislocation can be complete or partial. A partial dislocation is called a subluxation and a complete dislocation that involves total separation is called luxation. Doctors classify elbow dislocation into 3 types depending on the severity of the damage:

Simple – When there is no major injury to the bone.

Complex – When there is a severe injury to the ligament and bone.

Severe – When the nerves and blood vessels around the elbow are damaged.

Some signs and symptoms of elbow dislocation are:


Severe pain in the elbow

Inability to bend the arm

Numbness in hand

No heartbeat felt in the wrist

Weakness in the joint


Arms look deformed

What are the risk factors?

Some of the risk factors that could lead to an elbow dislocation are –



Sports activity

What are the complications involved?


Pinched or trapped nerves

Avulsion fracture

Pinched or trapped arteries


How to prevent it?

Avoid lifting

Avoid situation that makes you fall

Do not fall on your overstretched arm

How to diagnose it?

Doctors may ask you to get an X-ray done to see if the bone is injured. They may recommend getting an MRI or CT scan done to check the damage surrounding the muscles or tendons.

What is the treatment?

There are various treatments to get an elbow dislocation right.





Joint Reduction


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