Once your ligaments are stretched or torn, they need about eight weeks to be fully healed and are pain free. But other problems might go undiagnosed, like a bone fracture, tear in the cartilage, nerve damage or a torn tendon. Delaying treatment of these other conditions leads to continued pain, weakness, giving way and disruption of your normal daily activities.
Instability of the Elbow Joint
An elbow ligament sprain can heal incorrectly, leaving your ligaments permanently stretched. This causes your elbow to be weak and unstable, frequently resulting in abnormal movement. If this happens, you will are likely to recurrently sprain causing swelling and pain.
Stiffness usually happens because of severe inflammation swelling at the site of the injury and scar tissue. Stiffness most often results in pain and even osteoarthritis. The longer the elbow is encased in plaster cast immobilisation the stiffer the elbow will become.
When the elbow does not heal properly, localized swelling occurs causing a limited range of motion and an inability to participate in your usual routine.
Early onset arthritis in the Elbow Joint
When a joint functions incorrectly following injury there is a possibility that over a period of time premature arthritis can occur.
Most patients will not encounter problems after orthopaedic surgery. As with any surgery, however, there are potential risks, including: reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, infection, blood clots, nerve damage, lack of full range of motion, development of arthritis, scar formation, or re-injury of the joint or soft tissue.
Volkmann ischemic contracture can occur with damage to the brachial artery being compressed following fracture.
Another complication is heteroptopic ossification or unwanted bone growth in the joint. This is more likely with a severe traumatic injury or if mobility exercises are forced or manipulated.