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What’s the best way to treat a broken elbow?

You don't think about your elbows often, but if you suffer an injury to this part of your body you'll realize just how much it impacts you. A broken elbow is one of the most serious injuries you can suffer, as it can prohibit you from living your day-to-day life.

Fortunately, there are several treatment options for a broken elbow, including:

  • Medication: This isn't used to heal the broken bone, but instead to provide you with pain relief as other forms of treatment take action.
  • Surgery: Your doctor will attempt to avoid surgery, but there are times when it's the best option. This is typically the case if you have a compound or open fracture.
  • Cast, splint or sling: If surgery isn't required, a cast, splint or sling is used to immobilize the elbow to give it time to heal. For example, your doctor may put your elbow in a splint and then use a sling to provide more comfort.
  • Physical therapy: Once your elbow heals, physical therapy is often necessary to help regain range of motion and strength. It's not comfortable at first, but it's something you'll want to do to ensure yourself of regaining full use of your elbow.

With so many ways to treat a broken elbow, it's best to follow the advice of your medical team.

If you injured your elbow at work, talk to your doctor about when you can return to your job. They may suggest time away to rest and recover, which will point you toward filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

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