What is a Hyperextension Injury of the Elbow?

When the elbow gets bent backwards beyond its normal range of motion and causes damage to ligaments, bones, or other structures, it’s called hyperextension of the elbow. This injury is not uncommon and can be caused by a variety of reasons. A hyperextension injury of the elbow can occur with anyone, however it’s most common with those that participate in contact sports, other strenuous activities, or experience a fall.

What are the symptoms of a hyperextension injury of the elbow?

Instantly, you’re likely to experience a popping sound and pain. Other symptoms that you may experience can be muscle spasms, dull or sharp pain, weakness in the arm, or swelling. Some patients experience redness and blotchy skin around the elbow. In severe cases of a hyperextended elbow injury, the elbow may be deformed or circulation in the hand may be compromised.

How is a hyperextension injury of the elbow treated?

Your physician will assess your injury and may perform x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans to rule out breaks or tissue damage. Once your physician has your diagnoses for a hyperextension injury of the elbow, they will help you get a treatment plan in place. Immediate action will include ice or cold compressions to relieve pain and inflammation, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers. The severity of your injury will determine what treatment or treatments your doctor will recommend. Some treatment options include:

  • Ice the Injury – Placing ice on the injury for about 10 to 20 minutes at a time in the first few days after injury.
  • Resting the arm – Giving your arm time to heal by avoiding extending or flexing it. Other activities that are best to avoid would be heating pad use or consuming alcohol as they can cause further swelling.
  • Elevating the elbow above your heart – This can help reduce prevent swelling in the days following the injury. This can be done with a pillow while sitting or laying down, or with a sling when active.
  • Physical therapy – After the injury has healed enough that it can be moved without pain, your doctor may recommend physical therapy. This will help you stretch and strengthen the injured arm.
  • Surgery – If the injury causes damage to ligament bones or other structures in the elbow, it make requires surgery.

Why Plano Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center in Plano, Texas?

At POSMC, we have been helping patients with these injuries for more than 45 years and pride ourselves with providing patients with exceptional care. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a hyperextension injury of the elbow come see our highly skilled physicians at Plano Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center today.

Call POSMC today!

If you are experiencing shoulder pain in the Dallas, TX area call POSMC today!

To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.

POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!

Dr. Michael S. Howard

Shoulder, Elbow and
Upper extremity
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Dr. Earl R. Lund

Shoulder, Elbow, Hand and Wrist
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Dr. Thanh Le

Elbow, Hand and Wrist
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