Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Orthopedic Teaching

Elbow Case 2 ED Management

Occult Radial head fracture


  ED Management

The patient with an occult radial head fracture can be managed with a sling for comfort with early range of motion as tolerated (within 24-48 hours). If the pain is severe and range of motion is too painful, a posterior mold of the elbow can be placed. Repeat films in 7-10 days should reveal the fracture line after the necrotic bone has reabsorbed. Comminuted or displaced fractures should be immobilized and referred urgently to orthopedics.