It is extremely important to follow your doctor's medical advice exactly if you have a broken elbow. Once injured, the elbow is not a "forgiving" joint as it heals. To get the best possible result after you've broken your elbow, pay attention to the advice your doctor gives you. Keep all follow-up appointments with your doctor.
Following are some of the common things you may be told after your first visit for your broken elbow:
- Use medications to reduce pain and swelling.
- Elevate your arm to reduce pain and swelling.
- Leave your splint or cast in place. Take care of your cast or splint.
- Take antibiotics to treat infection, if prescribed, or to reduce the chance of getting an infection.
- Return to the emergency department immediately if you notice any of the following:
- Your hand is cold.
- Your hand is pale or blue.
- Your hand is numb, tingling, or "dead" feeling.
- Your forearm hurts if you move your wrist, hand, or fingers.
Most broken elbows stem from trauma-falls, sports injuries, motor vehicle crashes. The same common-sense things you would do ordinarily to prevent accidents will help prevent elbow injuries.
- In automobiles
- Obey the rules of the road and drive defensively.
- Always wear your seat belts while driving and as a passenger.
- Don't drink alcohol and drive.
- Don't drive a vehicle if you've taken medicines or drugs that may make you sleepy.
- Children always should be in proper child restraint devices.
- Don't drive with your arm propped on the window or hanging out of the car window.
- At home
- Remove household items that may cause you to trip and fall. Some common tripping hazards are power cords, small rugs, and footstools.
- Wipe up spills and deal with any slick floors that might cause a trip and fall.
- Try to keep walks and driveways ice-free in winter.
- While exercising or playing sports
- Don't exercise, practice, or participate if you are overly fatigued. Injuries tend to happen when you are tired.
- Don't continue an activity if you are having elbow pain.
- Always wear proper protective gear while playing sports.