Dislocating your elbow is a very painful injury. Fortunately, it’s not a very common occurrence. The most common cause of elbow dislocation is falling onto your arm while your elbow is in the straight and locked position. When this happens, your hand takes all of the force from the fall, and this impact stresses the elbow and causes it to rotate and come out of its socket.
Toddlers are more vulnerable to this injury because they are commonly lifted up by their arms or swung by their forearms. It is also called nursemaid’s elbow. At Black Hills Orthopedic & Spine Center, we recommend coming in and seeing us immediately if a dislocation occurs. A dislocated elbow in most cases can be fixed without surgery. However, there are some cases where the impact of the fall on the elbow can cause bone fractures within the joint; in which case, surgery would likely be necessary.