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Joint pains and fractures are not easily missed, they are extremely painful and they can also hinder the movement of your limb. Here are some signs to look out for if you have injured your elbow and you should immediately go to an orthopedic surgeon.

You Can’t Move Your Elbow

The first and important thing that you feel when you hit your elbow really hard, besides the obvious pain, is the inability to move your elbow the way you normally used to. It is a very common sign that something is very wrong with your elbow and you need to get it checked. The elbow is most likely fractured and it cannot move on its own without being fused back into place again.

You need to have it checked by a radiologist, because if you waste too much time, the bone will fuse back into a different position and it will become somewhat permanent.

You Have Swelling In The Elbow

Another sign which is a clear way of saying that your elbow is fractured or at least dislocated, is the swelling and tenderness around the elbow and neighboring areas. You can feel a slight and tender bump on your elbow and it will feel painful and tender when you try to press down on it. It is the clear sign that your elbow has been fractured and the fractured fragments of the bone are poking against the muscle and this is why there is swelling in the area. You are also unable to move your elbow or arm too much.

Numbing In The Arm

This is a worst-case scenario, but it might happen, especially if you leave the pain unnoticed and decide that it will go down eventually. Numbing is a very dangerous sign of an elbow fracture and this is probably the last point of retreat, after which there is essentially no going back and you will need something extensive to fix your elbow.

The numbing and tingling is due to the nerves being poked by the broken and fractured bone and that part of the elbow eventually dies, hence you feel no sensation there.

Popping Sound Of The Elbow

This is also a very common sign, which can be felt especially when you try to fold your arm at an angle. Your elbow-surgery-recovery will make a distinct popping sound as if there is something getting cracked inside the flesh. This is the air inside the fractured elbow which is creating this noise when your elbow is squeezed during the movement of the arm. This is a huge sign of a fracture and this is also followed by a lot of pain and numbness and tingling near the elbow. You need to get your elbow checked immediately and try not to move it too much, unless you absolutely have to.

Shooting Pain

This is quite the obvious sign but it is one of the most alarming ones too. Pain in the elbow and arm is very common when you feel like you have fractured your elbow. You will feel the pain going down from the elbow, towards your arm and this can be quite excruciating and you might not be able to even move your fingers if the pain is too much to handle. Pain killers can only do so much, which is why you need to be vigilant and go see a doctor immediately.

Visible Dislocation Of The Elbow

Last but not least, you can tell from looking at the elbow that it is physically fractured. If your elbow is fractured, it will show on the physical anatomy of the arm. It will be dislocated at the point where the elbow normally shows against your skin. It will look visibly dislocated and there will be enough evidence that the elbow is not sitting right in place. So, try to cease any kind of movement immediately and hit the emergency room so that it can be fixed.


There you have it! These tell-tale signs will let you know that your elbow is not in a good shape, literally. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry and get your elbow checked timely by an elbow injury doctor Woodbridge.


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