Elbow dislocation is a common injury, resulting from a fall upon outstretched hands. Such a fall can jar the bones of the elbow joint out of position. This injury has very distinctive symptoms—the elbow joint swells, it won’t bend, and the individual feels a great deal of pain.
If you suspect that you have a dislocated elbow, don’t move it (immobilize it if necessary) and see a doctor immediately. The sooner you see a doctor, the easier it is for him or her to realign the bones. After correcting the dislocation, your physician will wish to check to make sure you are capable of normal arm movements. He or she may also wish to evaluate you for bone or nerve damage. You will likely need to wear a splint for a few weeks, possibly accompanied by anti-inflammatory medication, and likely followed by a course of physical therapy.