Medical Definition of Floating elbow

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Floating elbow: a situation in which there are fractures of both the forearm and humerus (upper arm bone) in the same extremity. It is termed "floating" because the elbow joint is disassociated from both the forearm and arm. The condition was originally described in children and is often the result of a fall on the outstretched arm. In adults, the injury can be caused by crush injuries, falls, or direct high-velocity trauma.

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References
Oros, W., MD. "Floating Elbow." Medscape. Updated: Dec 03, 2016.
<http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1231103-overview>