18 year old Elbow dislocation questions. My questions are as follows. 1. How do you evaluate when a player of 18 years of age can return to play on an elbow dislocation?
2. Agressive rehab vs Splinting? I have gotten 3 answers. First one was splint for 2-3 weeks slow rehab return 8-12 weeks. Second one, splint 2 weeks agressive rehab. Third splint 4-5 days agressive rehab let pain/strength be your guide. All answers were from Orthapedic Surgeons.
I want what is best for my Nephew. Starting Quarterback/Cornerback, also a Wrestler. If strength has returned and Ligament laxity is back to normal. Should he return to play football? If so should he wear a brace, if strength and ROM are normal? or should he strengthen for wrestling?
Post by Robert Schoderbek, MD on Oct 27, 2008 16:02:50 GMT -6
The biggest issue associated with elbow dislocations is elbow stability after the dislocation which deals with structures injured (ligaments, capsule, bone) during the dislocation. The initial treatment for an elbow dislocation would be splinting for 1-2 weeks to allow the injured structures to heal/scar in place. After 1-2 weeks we would then start gentle range of motion and strengthening activites and progress him on with rehabilitation based off his symptoms letting pain and strength be his guide. I would suspect that it would be hard for him to return to football this season but that needs to be based off his symptoms. Most orthopaedic surgeons would put him in a hinged elbow brace once they start rehabilitation to give him some added stability. Returning to football and wrestling are based off symptoms and stability which needs to be assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon in your area.
It is on his throwing side of his body. There is no laxity in the ligaments only swelling, which is now minimal by use of laser and SASTM, icing and ROM exercises. The question I have is I have 3 answers...Now 4 on when to return. Is there new research in letting them return sooner. My opinion is let it heal as much as possible, brace it, return when pain allows you to do so, as long as there is not a laxity in the ligaments and full ROM can be presented.
Post by Robert Schoderbek, MD on Oct 28, 2008 14:29:58 GMT -6
As you can tell there are many different treatment opinions for this type of injury. I do not know of any research pertaining to allowing them return to play sooner than later. My experience is that the rehabilitation and return to play is based off of symptoms and stability. If you return to sports to early you run the risk of re-injuring or re-dislocation. I would be patient with his rehab and I feel that he will let you know when he will be able to return especially when he starts to stress the elbow with further rehabilitation. Most importantly, make sure that he should be followed by an orthopaedic surgeon to assess his stability and ability to return to play. I hope that this helps you.