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Symptoms and Signs of Broken Elbow

Doctor's Notes on Broken Elbow

A broken elbow is a fracture, or break, of any of the three bones of the elbow. The elbow joint involves the upper arm bone (humerus) as well as the two bones of the lower arm (tibia and fibula). A broken elbow is most commonly caused by traumatic injuries such as falls, motor vehicle accidents, cycling accidents, or direct blows to the elbow.

Signs and symptoms of a broken elbow include pain that may be severe, reduced ability to move the elbow joint, swelling, and deformity of the elbow. Other associated symptoms can include redness or bruising of the skin, decreased sensation of the forearm, numbness of the arm, a cool sensation in the arm, and bleeding, scrapes, cuts, or open wounds at the site of the fracture.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.