elbow injury

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Damage to structures in and around the elbow. Elbow injuries require skilled help, particularly in children, because they can be permanently disabling. In sport, acute elbow injuries usually result from a fall onto an outstretched hand with the elbow locked into extension (see elbow dislocation). Contusions and fractures resulting from a blow to the elbow are common. Radiography can be used to diagnose fractures. They are usually treated by fixation, with great care being taken to ensure that the blood supply has not been impaired. Even partial damage to the blood supply can be very serious, causing a compartment syndrome. Chronic, overuse injuries are especially common in golfers, throwers, racket players, and young gymnasts (see golfer's elbow, thrower's elbow, tennis elbow). Common overuse elbow injuries in young gymnasts are Panner's disease, osteochondrosis of the capitalism, osteochondritis dissecans of the radial head, and a stress fracture of the olecranon epiphysis. Repeated forceful elbow extension in throwers may stimulate hypertrophy (growth) of the olecranon process and an impingement syndrome.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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