Will a Dislocated Elbow Heal Without Surgery?

Calendar May 3, 2018

Question: I’m a professional MMA fighter, and four weeks ago I dislocated my elbow while wrestling. At the hospital, I went to the orthopedic surgeon said I’m going to need surgery and sent me to a different doctor who specializes in UCL tears. He told me with UCL tears athletes who wrestle and fight don’t need surgery to get back to where they want. He said it’s orthopedic rule not to give surgery because it can heal up on its own. Everywhere I read says with UCL tears you need surgery to get back to competing level. Can you give me your opinion on if UCL tears need surgery or not?

Dr. Foreman- It is very unusual for an elbow dislocation to heal with any residual laxity of the joint.  In fact, a much more common problem is that the elbow is somewhat stiff.  I would definitely agree that surgery is not necessary for your elbow and would encourage you to start working on getting your motion back.  Once the soft tissues have healed after 6-8 weeks then you can start strengthening.

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Weather its elbow, knee, hip, shoulder, or back pain, Azalea Orthopedics Specialists are prepared to see all type of injuries.  Many times injuries do not require surgery, our physicians care deeply for each of their patients and are ready to find the correct solution to your problem!  If you are in pain, consult an expert today; if you have a question for Dr. Foreman click here to submit a question.

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