Epicondyle (elbow) fracture
Epicondyle (elbow) fracture - medial or lateral
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 broken a small part of your bone in your elbow
- This is a relatively common fracture and it usually does not require surgery
What should I expect?
- Your elbow will feel sore and swollen, and it's not uncommon for your fingers to also become swollen especially in the first day or two.
- You will have been placed in a plaster cast in the Emergency Department (ED), and given a sling for comfort
- You will likely be in a cast for at least 4 to 6 weeks
- It may take some time for normal strength in the elbow to return
What should I do?
- Take regular pain relief (e.g. paracetamol and ibuprofen) as needed
- Keep your fingers moving as often as you can
- Keep your plaster cast dry at all times by putting a plastic bag over your cast and securing it with tape before showering. A wet cast will get soggy and fall apart
- You may find it more comfortable while sitting or sleeping to prop your arm up on 1-2 pillows. This can decrease the swelling.
What should I not do?
- Avoid heavy lifting with your injured arm
- You may be unable to drive at this time
- Try to reduce or stop smoking as this may delay bone healing
- No contact sport or intense physical activity
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 about a date and time
What if I have concerns/questions?
- If your injury is not settling or you have other concerns, you should see your GP first - take your ACC form/number with you
- Please seek medical attention if you experience
- Numbness or tingling in your arm or fingers
- Pain when you move your fingers
- Inability to move you fingers
- Fingers go blue or white, or cold compared to the other hand