dislocated elbow is an injury that occurs when the bones that make up the joint are forced out of alignment. The elbow is the second most commonly dislocated joint after the shoulder and dislocation most often occurs in children. A dislocated elbow usually occurs due to sport injuries or falling onto an outstretched hand. Medical treatment is recommended in order to prevent nerve or blood vessel damages to the lower arm and hand. If the elbow is also fractured, surgery may be required.



Signs and symptoms of a dislocated elbow may include:

  • Severe pain
  • Alteration in the joint



A dislocated elbow can also result from a sharp twisting or pulling of the arm. Extreme rotation of the arm can lead to popping of the upper arm bone out of alignment within the elbow joint.The most common causes of a dislocated elbow include:

  • Falling onto an outstretched hand
  • Automobile accidents
  • Improper lifting or swinging
  • Sudden pulling
  • Sports injuries


Risk factors 

Factors that are associated with the risk of dislocating an elbow include the following:

  • Age (more common in children)
  • Genetics (more prone to broken bones)
  • Contact sports (participation in hockey, basketball, gymnastics that require a lot of hand and arm movement as well as physical contact) 



Complications of a dislocated elbow can include the following:

  • Clogged arteries
  • Tearing of the muscles, ligaments and tendons
  • Fracture to the elbow bones
  • Damaged nerves or blood vessels
  • Osteoarthritis

Complication resulting from lack of blood supply to the arteries, tearing of ligaments and bone fractures needed to be addressed and treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage and ensure proper healing of the elbow.



A few recommendations for preventing a dislocated elbow may include:

  • Avoiding swinging children by their arms that could lead to sudden twisting of the arm
  • Taking care to avoid falls
  • Wearing protective gear when participating in contact sports
  • Exercising regularly to maintain muscular strength and flexibility