Not all olecranon fractures require surgery. If you visit an emergency room a doctor will likely put you in a splint to keep the elbow in position. Other initial treatment includes applying ice to reduce swelling and pain. You may also be given medication to reduce pain.
If the pieces of bone are not out of place your fracture can be treated with a splint. This will keep the elbow in place during the healing process. Your doctor will need todo frequent X-Rays to ensure the pieces of bones do not shift during the healing process.
This process usually takes six weeks before gentle motion is allowed. If pieces do shift during this process surgery may be necessary.
Surgery is required for an olecranon fracture if:
- The bones have moved out of place
- Pieces of bones have punctured the skins
Surgery usually involves putting the pieces back in the appropriate position and preventing them from shifting.
Specific procedures include:
- Open Reduction and Internal Fixation: The most common of olecranon fracture procedures. The pieces of bone are repositioned in the appropriate position and held together with screws, pins, and wire.
- Bone Graft: If some of the bone is lost in the injury, the fracture may leave gaps that need to be filled. Bone Graft can be taken from donors or other parts of your body. It is usually taken from the hip
- Removal of the Fracture Fragments: If the bone fragments are to small to repair they are sometimes removed. After this is done the tricep tendon is reattached to the remaining portion of the ulna.