Clinical bottom line:
In the available literature, cases of traumatic elbow luxation managed by closed reduction appear to have a better long-term prognosis than cases managed by open reduction and surgical stabilisation. That being said, it is important to consider that the poorer outcome in surgically-managed cases could reflect the severity or chronicity of the injury rather than the treatment method itself, or indeed could reflect a combination of the two.
Closed reduction of traumatic canine elbow luxation should be attempted in all cases as soon as possible as this is associated with a better prognosis. Should closed reduction not be possible, or should the elbow remain unstable or reluxate following closed reduction, surgical intervention is indicated. Joint immobilisation is recommended with either a Robert Jones bandage or splinted bandage for two-to-four weeks following treatment.