When the joint surfaces of an elbow are forced apart, the elbow is dislocated. The elbow is the second most commonly dislocated joint in adults (after shoulder dislocation). Elbow dislocation can be complete or partial. A partial dislocation is referred to as a subluxation. The amount of force needed to cause an elbow dislocation is enough to cause a bone fracture at the same time. These two injuries (dislocation-fracture) often occur together.
- Falls. Falling onto an outstretched hand can pop the upper arm bone out of alignment within the elbow joint.
- Motor vehicle accidents.
- Sudden pull