Olecranon Fracture

Olecranon Fracture

The olecranon process the large bony prominence at the back of the elbow on the ulna forearm bone. It is usually fractured from a direct impact or fall onto a bent elbow. Intense elbow pain, swelling and tenderness at the back of the elbow are common symptoms of this injury. Read more on the treatment of Olecranon fracture.

Symptoms of an Olecranon fracture

Sudden intense pain at the back of the elbow will be felt at the time of injury. The patient will in most cases be unable to straighten the elbow. Rapid swelling and bruising may start to appear. Trying to move the elbow will be painful and the back of the elbow will be very tender to touch.

An Olecranon fracture can also occur due to a forceful contraction of the Triceps muscle which attaches to it. This may happen when falling onto an outstretched hand, with the elbow bent.

Treatment

  • X-rays will be used to determine the extent of displacement of the fractured bone segment.
  • Pain medication and a sling may be used in the meantime.
  • If the fragment is not displaced the elbow is immobilised in a splint or cast to allow healing.
  • If the fragment is displaced, surgery may be performed to realign and fix the bone fragment.
Related Articles
Lateral Elbow Pain

A lot of pain that occurs in the upper back and neck is due to tight muscles in the neck, shoulders and upper back. We look at the symptoms, causes and possible treatment options in more detail.

Elbow Apophysitis

Apophysitis is a condition affecting children and adolescents and is a crumbling of the bone at the point the tendon attaches to. It is similar to apophysitis in the knee (Osgood Schlatter disease)...

Synovitis of the Elbow Joint

Synovitis of the elbow joint is inflammation of the synovial membrane which surrounds the joint. Symptoms include elbow joint pain and redness over the area. However, Synovitis is itself ususally...

Elbow Bursitis - Students Elbow

Elbow bursitis also known as Students elbow or Olecranon bursitis is the inflammation and swelling of the bursa which protects the end of the ulna bone at the back of the elbow. Repeatedly leaning...