Hyperextension Injury of the Elbow

Overview

This injury occurs when the elbow is bent backwards beyond its normal range of motion, causing damage to the ligaments, bones and structures of the elbow. Hyperextension of the elbow can cause dislocation or fractures.

Causes

Many hyperextension injuries occur during strenuous physical activity or sports. Falling and stopping the body with an outstretched arm can also cause the elbow to bend the wrong way, stretching and tearing ligaments, or cause the bones in the elbow to collide.

Symptoms

Symptoms can include pain when moving or touching the elbow, muscle spasm, swelling, and loss of strength in the arm. The skin around the elbow may also appear red or blotchy. In severe cases, the elbow may be deformed or hand circulation may be affected.

Treatment

Treatment options may include a cold compress to reduce swelling, rest, and immobilization of the elbow with a brace. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

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