PhysicalTherapy.com Phone: 866-782-6258


Management After Simple Dislocation of the Elbow

David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS

October 26, 2016

Share:

Question

What is they typical managment for a simple elbow dislocation?  

Answer

A simple dislocation is going to require a closed reduction.  There are no fractures in a simple dislocation.  If the joint is stable after reduction, we can start with immediate active range of motion in a pain free range. We want to get them moving right away, but not cranking into pain. Typically they'll be given compression garments to control swelling, and then we can also start working on gripping. Now, if the joint is deemed to be unstable after reduction, they'll typically be immobilized, in either a cast or a brace.  According to the literature, if immobilization is greater than 14 days, or 2 weeks, we see a much higher risk of stiffness, even in the individuals that have instability after reduction with a simple dislocation. In other words, a dislocation without any fractures is only soft tissue related.  If it's unstable after reduction, they'll be immobilized but for a relatively short period of time, typically no longer than 2 weeks.

It’s also important to work on pronatory and supintory strength to provide stability in and through the joint. When we look at the restraints of both varus and valgus force at the elbow, and think about where those muscles cross-like other parts of the body, if we have damage to the ligamentous structures, we have to start thinking about how can we augment the dynamic structures, or the contractile tissue to be there to help provide some stability. In the elbow, that's going to be working on pronation and supination strength.


david nolan

David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS

Dr. Nolan is an Associate Clinical Professor at Northeastern University in the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences as well as a Graduate Lecturer in the College of Professional Studies in the transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Northeastern University.  David is also a Clinical Specialist at the Mass General Sports Physical Therapy Service and the Director of the MGH / Northeastern University Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program. 

Dr. Nolan is a board certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and Sports Clinical Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  He is a past recipient of the “Excellence in Clinical Teaching” award from the New England Consortium of Academic Coordinators of Clinical Education as well as the award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Practice by the Massachusetts Chapter of the APTA.  Dr. Nolan was also presented with the 2019 Lynn Wallace Clinical Educator award from the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy. 


Related Courses

Managing Foot and Ankle Pathology in the Distance Runner
Presented by David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS
Course: #4455Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Great information for treating runners, as more people are taking up running in the aging population, there are many injuries we need to know how to treat'   Read Reviews
Running related injury is a common presentation in physical therapy practice. Some studies report over 50% of runners will experience an injury that limits participation at some point. The majority of injuries specific to distance runners will occur in the lower quarter and many of these will involve the lower leg and foot and ankle complex. This course will review the epidemiology of selected running related injuries and provide evidence-based recommendations for examination and treatment.

Rotator Cuff Lesions: Conservative and Post-Operative Treatment
Presented by David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS
Course: #3441Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Very thorough review of rotator cuff lesions and shoulder impingements'   Read Reviews
Rotator cuff pathology is common in the general population and even more frequent with overhead athletes and workers. The purpose of this presentation is to present an evidence-based review of current physical therapy practice for the conservative and post-operative management of rotator cuff pathology. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and athletic training and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA and AT.

Running Related Injury: Getting the Runner Back on the Road
Presented by David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS
Course: #3203Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Instructor covered alot of material in a concise manner'   Read Reviews
Running related injuries are common in physical therapy practice. This course will review the epidemiology of selected running-related injuries and review evidence-based treatment interventions to maximize function. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and athletic training and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA and AT.

Management of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Presented by David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS
Course: #3475Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Great info and good presentation of evidence-based research in a succinct and understandable way'   Read Reviews
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is a common diagnosis for patients presenting to physical therapy with anterior knee pain. The purpose of this presentation is to present an evidence-based review of current physical therapy practice for the management of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Evidence-Based therapeutic exercise interventions will also be reviewed. This course is directly related to the practice of physical therapy and athletic training and is therefore appropriate for the PT/PTA and AT

Management of Adhesive Capsulitis
Presented by David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS
Course: #4438Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'very informative'   Read Reviews
Adhesive capsulitis is characterized by a painful, gradual loss of motion which may lead to significant functional limitations. This session reviews the epidemiology, classification, and differential diagnosis associated with adhesive capsulitis. Current evidence related to conservative physical therapy management utilizing exercise and joint mobilization is reviewed.

Editor's Note: Regarding Pennsylvania credits, this course is approved by the PA State Board of Physical Therapy for 1 hour of general and 1 hour of Direct Access CE credit.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.