Recurring Dislocation of the Elbow

Elbow instability is a loose elbow joint that may cause the elbow to catch or come out of alignment. When the elbow repeatedly feels loose or unstable, it is called chronic elbow instability and may cause damage to the elbow joint.

Causes of elbow instability include:

  • Elbow deformity
  • Overuse injury
  • Surgery
  • Trauma (such as a fall)

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

Symptoms of elbow instability or chronic elbow instability, include:

  • Clicking sound in joint
  • Feeling of the joint catching
  • Feeling of loose joint
  • Pain with movement
  • Sliding out of joint

Diagnosis for upper extremity fracture may include:

  • Physical exam
  • X-rays
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan

Elbow instability can be treated with physical therapy and activity modification. If you suffer from chronic instability, ligament reconstruction surgery, may be a treatment option.

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Penn State Health includes the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, ranked as one of the best orthopaedic providers in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This honor was earned because our doctors consistently deliver exceptional patient care and outcomes through advanced treatments, translational research and provider training.

Experts in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery

The shoulder and elbow specialists at Penn State Health are board-certified orthopaedic surgeons and fellowship trained in shoulder and elbow surgery. Their expertise includes arthroscopic surgery, treatment of sports injuries, total joint replacement and fractures. They hold a unique position in central Pennsylvania in their ability to combine extensive clinical and surgical experience with current research. This means they can offer the best solution for your shoulder or elbow problem.

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The doctors and researchers in our Center for Orthopaedic Research and Translational Science at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center are committed to advancing their field through scientific discovery and education. As the only academic medical center in central Pennsylvania, Hershey Medical Center is a national leader in research, in partnership with Penn State College of Medicine, and on the leading edge of new treatment options, including clinical trials.

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