Adult Dislocated Elbow (no fracture)
On this page
- What has happened?
- What should I expect?
- What should I do?
- What should I not do?
- Will I be followed up?
- What if I have concerns/questions?
What has happened?
- You have dislocated your elbow - meaning that your elbow joint has temporarily slipped out of place
- This is a relatively common injury and it usually does not require surgery
What should I expect?
- Your elbow will have been put back into place by Emergency Department (ED) staff and put in an arm brace at a right angle. You will also be given a sling for comfort
- You may have pain and swelling in your elbow and down your arm - this is normal
- You arm will be immobilised in a brace for 5-10 days. After this time, you will be in a arm brace for approximately 3 to 4 weeks which will allow movement of the elbow joint.
What should I do?
- Take regular pain relief (e.g. paracetamol and ibuprofen) as needed
- Keep your fingers moving as often as you can
- You may find it more comfortable while sitting or sleeping to prop your arm up on 1-2 pillows
What should I not do?
- Avoid heavy lifting while injured
- You may be unable to drive at this time
Will I be followed up?
- Yes, a follow-up appointment in the Orthopaedic Clinic will be requested when you leave the Emergency Department (ED) and you will be contacted regarding a date and time
- At this appointment you may be instructed to start simple exercises
What if I have concerns/questions?
- If your injury is not settling or you have other concerns, you should see your GP in the first instance - take your ACC form/number with you
- Please seek medical attention if you experience
- Numbness or tingling in the injured arm or hand
- Increasing pain in your arm or hand