Fracture Care Of The Upper Extremity Specialist

Austin Shoulder Institute

Orthopedic Surgeons & Shoulder Specialists located in North Austin, Austin, TX & Austin, Cedar Park, TX

Dr. Graham and Dr. Szerlip have advanced training and substantial experience in fracture care of the upper extremity, including complex and simple arm fractures, helping patients in North Austin, Cedar Park and Round Rock, TX, restore function, strength and mobility so they can enjoy optimal health and wellness.

Upper Extremity Fracture Care Q & A

What types of upper extremity fractures are there?

Upper extremity fractures include fractures of the upper and lower arm, the elbow, the wrist and hand, and the shoulder. Most upper extremity fractures occur as a result of direct impact trauma, like falling down on an extended arm or your elbow, a car accident or a sports injury. Some fractures occur as a result of twisting motions or, more rarely, from diseases that weaken the bone.

How is a broken elbow treated?

The bony tip of your elbow, called the olecranon, can become fractured easily if you fall onto it. Once broken, it can be treated non-surgically or surgically, depending on the type of fracture. Non-surgical treatment typically involves splinting or bracing the elbow to prevent movement while the bone heals. Surgical treatment is used in more significant fractures where the bone is displaced or the fracture is “open” and the bone has pierced the skin. Once healing has occurred, physical therapy will be needed to help resolve stiffness that can develop during prolonged periods of immobility and to restore mobility and strength to the joint.

How is a broken arm treated?

Broken arms can occur in different ways and in different areas of the arm. Fracture care of the upper extremity is based on a careful evaluation of the fracture to ensure treatment will be focused on repairing the fracture while also restoring strength and mobility. Treatments for less complicated fractures may include splinting, bracing or casting. In more significant fractures, surgery may be required to place the bone back in position, especially if the fracture has created fragments or fractures have occurred in several places. Complex fractures may require placement of pins or screws to restore the bone to its normal position.

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