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A to Z: Fracture, Elbow

May also be called: Broken Elbow

Fractured (broken) elbows are a common injury in kids and teens. Most heal well when the joint is protected with a cast. Sometimes surgery is needed, but this is rare.

More to Know

The elbow joint is made up of three bones. A fractured elbow means that one of the bones is broken. The elbow is commonly broken when someone holds an arm out to stop a fall. Sometimes the broken bone is obvious on X-ray. Other times, fluid collecting around the elbow joint is the only sign of a fracture.

A fiberglass or plaster cast will be placed around the elbow to support it and hold the broken bone(s) steady while they're healing.

Keep in Mind

How long a cast is needed varies depending on the type of injury and how the bones are healing. The doctor will let you know how long the cast is to be worn. A cast can feel heavy, so sometimes a sling is placed over it for support.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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