elbow dislocation

by steve

i dislocated my elbow six weeks ago and had it in plaster for 3 weeks. since then i have been having physio at my local hospital but to present date (3 weeks out of plaster) i have only managed about 40 percent extention of my arm. Initially for the first two weeks i was happy with my progress but im now becoming concerned and worried about returning to a full extention of the arm, which would restrict both my work and sport.do you think im on schedule and should not be too concerned at this stage,,,,also visited my consultant today who has arranged for a test of the nerves in my forearm,,,,ulna,,,is this a standard practice? i have been experiencing weakness and pins and needles in both my ring finger and little finger of the dislocated arm.


An elbow dislocation is a significant injury. Elbow injuries in general can be a challenge, especially regaining the extension range of motion. Lacking 40 degrees of extension is significant and I can understand your concern. Being very consistent with home stretching is the key to regaining ROM. A few stretches a day will not be enough. Sometimes a dynamic brace is used to regain motion. A common type is called Dynasplint. If your motion is not improving ask your physio about getting a dynamic stretching brace.

As for the test for your nerve, it is typical if you are having the symptoms you are having. Not everyone that has had a dislocation continues to have nerve related symptoms. The test will help determine the health of the nerve.

Hope this helps. Be consistent with your exercises. It is a painful recovery.

Good luck.

~JTrempe PT, ATC

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