Treatment of Elbow Fractures
An olecranon (oh-LEK-rah-nun) fracture is a break in the bony “tip” of the elbow. This pointy segment of bone is part of the ulna, one of the three bones that come together to form the elbow joint. The olecranon is positioned directly under the skin of the elbow, without much protection from muscles or other soft tissues. It can break easily if you experience a direct blow to the elbow or fall on an outstretched arm. A fracture can be very painful and make elbow motion difficult or impossible.
Treatment for an olecranon fracture depends upon the severity of the injury. Some simple fractures can be treated by wearing a splint until the bone heals. In most olecranon fractures, however, the pieces of bone move out of place when the injury occurs. For these fractures, surgery is required to restore both the normal anatomy of the elbow and motion in the joint.
Treatment of Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is a type of tendinitis — swelling of the tendons — that causes pain in the elbow and arm. These tendons are bands of tough tissue that connect the muscles of your lower arm to the bone. Despite its name, you can still get tennis elbow even if you’ve never been near a tennis court. Instead, any repetitive gripping activities, especially if they use the thumb and first two fingers, may contribute to tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is the most common reason that people see their doctors for elbow pain. It can pop up in people of any age, but it’s most common at about age 40.
The good news about treatment is that usually tennis elbow will heal on its own. You just need to give your elbow a break and do what you can to speed the healing. Most of the time, treatments will do the trick. But if you have a severe case of tennis elbow that doesn’t respond to two to four months of conservative treatment, you may need surgery. In the procedure, the damaged section of tendon usually is removed and the remaining tendon repaired. Surgery works in about 85%-90% of cases.
Ligament Repair & Reconstruction
ALR is typically an outpatient surgery. It is most often done under general or regional anesthesia. Other surgeries may be performed at the same time. This commonly includes arthroscopic surgery of the ankle joint. At least one larger incision is required for the ligament reconstruction.
Several different techniques can be performed depending on the individual patient. One option is to repair the patient’s own existing ligaments with stitches. This repair is often made stronger by support from other tissues. This is referred to as the modified Bröstrom procedure. Another option is to use a tendon to replace the torn ligaments. This technique is similar to what is done in knee ligament reconstructions.