What is it : An elbow dislocation is a common injury of the elbow and can cause ongoing instability and lead to early arthritis. If you have had an elbow dislocation then you would have likely gone to an emergency department and had the elbow put back in to place. We prefer to order an MRI after an elbow dislocation to assess the ligaments and extent of the damage.
Management : Depending on the severity of the injury and ligament damage, you may need an operation to stabilise your elbow. This can either be a repair of your own ligaments if the surgery is done shortly after the injury, or we may need to take tendon from your forearm or leg and use it to reconstruct the ligaments in your elbow.
Post-operative : You will be placed in a sling or brace after the operation and allowed to start some range of movement. Your range of movement will continue to improve for 3 months or more. Occasionally you will lose the ability to fully straighten your arm, luckily this does not affect function.