What is the Olecranon?
The olecranon is the bony point of your elbow. It provides the attachment site for your triceps muscle as well as the part of the elbow joint that captures and hinges on the end of the humerus.
How does the Olecranon Fracture?
Typically from a fall directly onto the point of the elbow. Immediate pain and swelling are noted and movement of the arm, particularly trying to actively straighten the elbow can be quite painful. Occasionally the elbow can dislocate with this type of fracture which is a complex elbow injury requiring both bony and ligament repair to correct–something the surgeons at MCO are well-versed in.
What is the treatment for an Olecranon Fracture?
If the fracture is not out of place, a cast for several weeks followed by a brace and therapy can produce a fully healed, normal elbow. In fractures where the joint is disrupted or the fracture ends are separated, a surgical repair is recommended. This generally involves either wires or a plate/screw construct. The goal is to anatomically restore the elbow joint and produce a strong enough construct to allow you to come out of a cast or splint within several weeks. This is typically an outpatient procedure.
Full recovery is expected with these fractures, however patients frequently want the plate or wires removed after healing since they are often easy to notice on the point of the elbow. This is routinely done when desired once the fracture is healed.