Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Some dislocated elbows go back into place by themselves. Most, however, need a doctor to manipulate the bones back into their proper alignment. This procedure is called a reduction.
Before the bones are manipulated back into place, you or your child may be given medications to relieve pain and relax muscles.
After the joint's bones are back in their normal alignment, you or your child may have to wear a splint or sling for a few weeks. You may also need to do physical therapy exercises to improve the joint's range of motion and strength.
Surgery may be required if:
- Any of the dislocated bones have also been broken
- Torn ligaments need to be reattached
- Damaged nerves or blood vessels require repair
- DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed April 4, 2012.
- Elbow dislocations and fracture-dislocations. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00029. Accessed April 4, 2012.
- Roberts JR, et al. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/202633129-4/0/2083/0.html#. Accessed April 4, 2012.