Elbow fractures usually involve a fall onto the outstretched arm or a direct trauma to the elbow. With elbow dislocations there may be associated nerve and/or blood vessel injuries. X-rays may show the fracture or dislocation but small breaks may be difficult to see.
Fractures are an emergency and immediate reduction (or placing the bones together to allow healing) is necessary. Bone breaks within the joint need special attention to ensure recovery of proper function of the joints.
Loose bodies are usually the result of old injuries or osteoarthritis of elbow joint. Locking and pain are the predominant signs and symptoms. The condition may be treated by surgical removal of the loose bodies if conservative care fails.
Ulnar Nerve Injuries
This injury is usually the result of excessive valgus stress on the elbow during repeated throwing (especially during the cocking phase of a throw). Sometimes a direct injury to the nerve within the cubital tunnel (“hitting your funny bone”) will result in nerve damage. Symptoms include tingling and numbness in the ring and pinky fingers. This may occur during or after throwing or with prolonged bending of the elbow.
Changing throwing technique, bracing if necessary, and therapeutic exercise may be helpful. If the problem persists, or there is prolonged weakness, then surgery is indicated.