olecranon fracture

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Fracture of the ulna at the point of the elbow joint. It is usually caused by a fall onto the arm or elbow. Olecranon fractures occur most commonly in contact sports and in sports, such as horse-racing, in which falls are frequent. Primary treatment includes protecting the arm by securing it to the body, gently applying ice over the injured area for 20 min and obtaining medical assistance. X-radiography will determine the nature of the injury, fractures should be dealt with by an orthopaedic surgeon as surgical fixation may be required. However, if no displacement has occurred, the injury may be managed by splinting the arm at 90° in a sling for a few weeks. If displacement has occurred, it is important that the bones are realigned exactly to ensure no long-term loss of joint function.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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