Elbows are only meant to bend back so far. If your elbow bends back further than it should, you will notice symptoms of hyperextension immediately. Almost anyone can be at risk of a hyperextended elbow, but those who participate in contact sports and other vigorous physical activity are more susceptible.
If you have a hyperextended elbow, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Popping sound at the moment of hyperextension
- Instant pain in the effected elbow
- Dull to sharp pain when you move or touch your elbow
- Swelling, stiffness, and loss of strength in your elbow
Hyperextension occurs when the humeroulnar joint bends past its natural range of motion. The humeroulnar joint is one of three joints to make up your elbow, along with the humeroradial joint, and superior radioulnar joint. Hyperextending your elbow can sometimes cause the elbow to dislocate or even break, and in this situation there may be a visible bulge where a bone has shifted out of position. Dislocated elbows should be treated promptly as to prevent the elbow from pinching or trapping blood vessels and nerves. Typically hyperextended and dislocated elbows do not require surgery, however, if the elbow has been fractured, surgery may be necessary.
If you have experienced a hyperextended elbow, an orthopedic doctor specializing in hand and upper extremity conditions should be seen right away. They will put together a personalized treatment plan for you to help your elbow heal correctly. One of the most common hyperextended elbow treatment methods that you can begin using right away is RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Hyperextended elbow recovery time can range from several days to several weeks, depending on the amount of damage done.
If you suspect that you have hyperextended your elbow, make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist to discuss your options. At The Center, our team of providers understand the frustration injuries can cause, especially when they interfere with your daily activities. We provide comprehensive care for elbow injuries using the latest advances in elbow diagnosis, treatment, surgery, and rehabilitation to get you back to your daily routine as quickly as possible.