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Olecranon Fracture: A Closer Look

The elbow is made up of three bones; the humerus, the radius and ulna. The elbow moves like a hinge, when it bends and straitens. The elbow is also involved in forearm rotation. The olecranon is the bony tip in the back (posterior) of the elbow.

An olecranon fracture is often caused by a direct blow or an indirect blow. “These fractures are often higher energy and require surgery.” (ASSH) Fractures often cause pain, swelling, numbness in one or more fingers, decreased use of the elbow, and bruising (discoloration) at the site of the fracture. All elbow injuries have significant risk of stiffness or extra (heterotopic) bone formation.

Fractures or, in other words, breaks can vary in severity. They can be stable and well aligned or unstable and broken in many places. They can affect the use of the arm significantly. There are several non-surgical and surgical options to treat this problem depending on where the fractures are and how stable they are.