Patient Information

Fracture clinic leaflets

Virtual Fracture Clinic (VFC)
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Colchester Hospital

 

For clinic appointments /admin, call 01206 746 543, Monday to Friday, 8am–4pm
For clinical issues related to the VFC only, call 07717 367 583, Mon to Fri, 9am–5pm

 

Discharge advice following attendance with a radial head/neck (elbow) fracture

 

You have a very small break in the radial head or neck – one of the bones in your elbow.

These fractures almost always heal well with time and use, no specific treatment is required and therefore routine follow-up is unnecessary.

A collar and cuff or triangular sling will hold your elbow in a comfortable position for a week or two. You should wean yourself off this as your pain settles and aim to remove the sling completely as soon as you feel able.

You may initially require regular pain relief medication as it is important to keep gently moving the elbow and gradually resume daily activities within the limits of discomfort. This will prevent stiffness and ensure the quickest return to normal function.

Forcible stretching is unnecessary, and is likely to cause pain and delay your recovery.

Symptoms are usually minor, but may take 3–6 weeks to settle.

There may be slightly reduced movement at the elbow, especially on straightening it, but this is unlikely to affect your function.

X-ray showing an elbow fracture

 

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