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What Happens When You Dislocate Your Elbow?

An elbow dislocation occurs when the bones of the forearm move out of place leaving person in severe pain and swelling. Due to dislocation, your elbow becomes unstable and unable to move. It damages the ligaments of the elbow and surrounding muscles, nerves and tissues that connect the bones at a jointly called tendons. After shoulder, the elbow is the second most commonly dislocated joint in adults that can be treated by the best orthopaedic doctors in Faridabad.

What causes a dislocated elbow?

There can be various causes of a dislocated elbow.

  • When people try to stop a fall with their outstretched hand.
  • Car accidents can cause dislocated elbows when people reach out to brace themselves against impact.
  • Sports injuries are also one of the reasons of dislocations.
  • Overstretching of hand can also be a cause.

Sometime dislocated elbows go back into place by themselves. Otherwise however, need a doctor to operate the bones back into their proper alignment, this procedure is called a reduction.


Pain relief medications can be given to patients to relieve pain and relax muscles.


After the dislocated joint is back to its position, you might need to wear a splint for some time. Physiotherapy is also advisable to improve the joint’s range of motion and strength.

Is surgery required?

You might need surgery if the dislocated bone has broken or if torn ligaments and damaged nerves need to be reattached.

How long does it take to recover from a dislocated elbow?

Simple elbow dislocations are treated by keeping the elbow immobilized in a splint or sling for 1 to 3 weeks, followed by early range of motion exercises. If the elbow is kept immobilized for a long time, the ability to move the elbow fully (range of motion) may be affected.

Immediate medical attention is required in elbow dislocation.