Radial head fracture is a fracture in the elbow, often resulting from a fall onto an outstretched hand. The nature of a fracture needs to be assessed with at least an x- ray. If a radial head fracture is not displaced and not complex, it is often immobilised in a sling as immobilisation in a cast can lead to an elbow extension deficit. Complex fractures that are displaced, comminuted or associated with a dislocation may require surgery.
Fractures in kids generally take 4- 6 weeks to heal and fractures in adults generally take 6- 8 weeks to heal.
What is the usual mechanism of injury?
- Fall onto an outstretched hand
Signs and symptoms of a fracture
- Pain on palpation of the bone
- Night pain may be present
- Swelling may be present
- Movement and use of the elbow is restricted and painful
- Fat pad swelling may be present in front of the elbow joint
How can Physiotherapy help?
Your Physiotherapist will be able to:
- Provide advice and guidance surrounding immobilisation
- Provide manual therapy to reduce pain, tightness and improve movement
- Guide you through strengthening exercises to improve the capacity, endurance and strength of the muscles around the elbow to help return to normal daily activity and sport