Pain and stiffness of the elbow following dislocation

by Mary Wells
(Kent UK)

My son aged 11yrs recently dislocated his elbow, he was admitted to hospital and taken to theatre to have closed surgery to put it back in place. He has since had his cast removed, obviously there is bruising & swelling to his elbow, it is also quite stiff. My son is quite scared about trying to straighten it and is doing what he can to avoid movement of his arm. Is there anything you can suggest to get him to use his arm or exercises he can try? Thank you



Hi,

Elbow dislocations can be a significant injury. It is very important that you utilize range of motion early in your recovery. If your doctor has advised you that moving the elbow is safe, it is very important you do so. It is very common for the elbow to get very stiff, especially with extension. By being overly cautious, the result can be an elbow that no longer fully straightens. If you have not already done so, I would also recommend you consider formal physical therapy.

Hope this helps and good luck.

~JTrempe PT, ATC

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