Hyperextended Elbow

What is elbow hyperextension, and how is it treated?

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If you have persistent elbow pain and tenderness that limits your mobility, you should make an appointment with the orthopedic experts at OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio. 

The team provides state-of-the-art diagnostics to identify joint injuries such as hyperextension and personalized treatments to relieve your pain and restore your joint function.

What Does a Hyperextended Elbow Feel Like?

Elbow hyperextension injuries cause a popping sound and instant pain. 

You might also experience:

  • Pain during movement
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Lost elbow and arm strength
  • Muscle spasm in your biceps

About Elbow Hyperextension

Elbow hyperextension injuries range in severity, and you might have dull or sharp pain. However, more severe injuries can cause elbow joint deformity and circulation problems in your hand.

What Causes Elbow Hyperextension?

These injuries usually affect the humeroulnar joint, which allows you to bend and extend the joint. You’re most likely to get an elbow hyperextension injury while participating in sports. 

Contact sports like football, or activities that put significant stress on your elbows like weight lifting or gymnastics, can push your elbow beyond its normal range of motion. 

You might also hyperextend your elbow if you fall onto an outstretched hand.

If you think you hyperextended your elbow, you can apply a cold compress and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine to manage swelling and pain. 

However, if your symptoms don’t subside with at-home care or if you have any visible deformities or protruding bones, you should schedule an appointment at OrthoNeuro to have your hyperextended elbow medically reviewed.

How Is Elbow Hyperextension Diagnosed?

The team of orthopedists at OrthoNeuro combines physical exams and imaging studies to diagnose a hyperextension injury. 

Your doctor will begin by reviewing your symptoms, lifestyle details, and medical history. They carefully examine your arm, feeling for inflammation, elbow deformity, and any other palpable signs of injury.

Your physician may also order X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine your joint in more detail. This helps them rule out other issues such as fractures or arthritis, which could cause similar symptoms.

How Is a Hyperextended Elbow Treated?

After confirming your diagnosis, your doctor will create a personalized treatment plan to help your elbow heal correctly. 

They often combine therapies, including:


Rest is a critical part of the healing process. Your doctor can help you avoid flexing or extending your elbow. 

You will need to take time away from sports or other activities that stress your elbow, as well as other activities that could intensify swelling.

Cold Therapy

Ice and cold compresses are an excellent way to reduce elbow swelling. You can apply ice for 10-20 minutes every few hours. 

Don’t apply ice directly to your skin. Instead, always wrap your ice pack in a cloth to protect your skin.


Your doctor may give you an elastic bandage or elbow brace to protect your elbow. 

These devices combine immobilization with compression, which helps manage swelling while keeping your joint still so it can rest.

Physical Therapy

As your elbow pain and swelling subsides, you may need to undergo physical therapy. 

Gentle exercises and stretches can help restore your strength, stability, and flexibility following an elbow injury. 

Your physical therapist will teach you exercises to practice at home to maintain your recovery between appointments.

Why Would I Need Surgery for a Hyperextension Injury?

The orthopedic surgeons at OrthoNeuro only recommend surgery when non-invasive treatments don’t resolve your injury. 

For example, if your hyperextension injury damages your bones or soft tissues, including your ligaments or tendons, your doctor might need to repair your injured elbow surgically. 

The surgeons offer minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures as well as traditional open surgery. You will need rehabilitation following elbow surgery to restore your elbow function.

Call OrthoNeuro today or make an appointment online if you think you have a hyperextension injury or persistent and disruptive elbow pain.

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Specialist Today!

If you have been experiencing the symptoms of a hyperextended elbow, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus. 

Best of all, most patients can be seen within 24 hours of making an appointment.

Hand, Wrist, and Elbow Specialists

You use your hands, wrists, and elbows all the time. Don’t let pain interfere with your quality of life or independence. Call OrthoNeuro today or make an appointment online if you have persistent pain in your hand, wrist, or elbow that limits your movement or independence.

James C. Cassandra, DO

Orthopedic Hand & Elbow Surgeon

Gary M. Millard, DO

Orthopedic Hand & Elbow Surgeon

Desmond J. Stutzman, DO

Orthopedic Hand & Elbow Surgeon

Scott P. Stephens, MD

Orthopedic Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

Benjamin W. Szerlip, DO

Orthopedic Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

“I love this group of Doctors. They have specialists to cover what ever part of the body is in need of treatment. Every doctor i have seen in this practice have had a very good bedside manner and very knowledgeable. I highly recommend this practice for all your orthopedic and neurological needs”

Teresa H.