Radial Head or Radial Neck fractures are common injuries following a fall. This video aims to explain these injuries to you and what you should expect in your recovery following such an injury.

Radial Head or Neck Fracture

You have a very small break in the radial head or neck – one of the bones in your elbow. These fractures almost always heal well with time and no specific treatment is required and therefore routine follow-up is unnecessary.

A sling will hold your elbow in a comfortable position for a few days.  You should wean yourself off this as your pain settles and aim to remove the sling completely as soon as you feel able.

You may initially require regular pain killers as it is important to keep gently moving the elbow and gradually resume daily activities within the limits of discomfort.

This will prevent stiffness and ensure the quickest return to normal function.

Forcible stretching is unnecessary, and is likely to cause pain and delay your recovery.

Symptoms are usually minor, but may take up to 3-6 weeks to settle.

When Can I Drive?

You are safe to drive when you can perform an emergency swerve, and are in full control of the vehicle.  This means you should be able to control the car with no or minimal discomfort. This could be upto 6-8 weeks following the injury.

You may return to office based work once you are comfortable. This is usually with a couple of days of the injury. Return to manual / heavy work will be once the elbow feels stronger and back to normal.  This could take several weeks.

Contacts / Further information

For any queries in relation to your injury or for further advise please contact your local Emergency department minor injuries or contact the NHS service on 111.