Dislocated Elbow

This injury typically occurs from contact or a blow to the joint causing the elbow joint surfaces to separate. There can be both full and partial separations of this joint. A full separation (dislocation) will have a visual deformity and will need medical attention while a partial dislocation (subluxation) can be harder to identify and usually relocates on its own.  Elbow dislocations/subluxations can occur in contact sports such as wrestling.

Signs and symptoms of an Dislocated Elbow may include:
  • Severe pain
  • Obvious disconfiguration of elbow joint
  • Typically after a fall on outstretched arm or forceful blow to elbow joint
  • Can have partial or full dislocations
Self Care

Some dislocations will reduce on their own, but some may need a manipulation by a physician to return to original position


Possible use of a splint or sling


Anti-inflammatory medication can be used for pain relief


Possible surgical consultation if ligaments are damaged or depending on athlete’s sport

Hand Therapy

Focus on joint range of motion and strengthening for full return to activities of daily living and sport