The orthopedic physician will reduce (put back in place) the patient’s elbow by pulling down on the wrist and levering the elbow back into its proper place. This procedure is extremely painful, so powerful pain medications may be given before reduction.
After the patient’s elbow is back in place, the physician will obtain X-rays and then put the patient in a splint that will keep the elbow bent. The splint will be made of fiberglass or plaster and will create an “L” shape around the back of the elbow. The purpose of the splint is to help prevent movement of the arm at the elbow. In addition, the arm will be placed in a sling to help support the splint. If the elbow remains unstable, surgery must then be performed.