JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Multidetector computed tomography diagnosis of adult elbow fractures.

Acta Radiologica 2004 Februrary
PURPOSE: To assess acute phase multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) findings in elbow traumas.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Fifty-six patients (32 M, 24 F, age 16 to 88 years, mean 44 years) underwent MDCT of the elbow due to an acute trauma during a time period of 34 months.

RESULTS: A total of 65 fractures and 3 main fracture types were established: 16 (25%) ulnar coronoid process fractures, 13 (20%) radial head fractures, and 12 (18%) humeral supracondylar fractures. Three main injury mechanisms were falling (38 (68%) patients), falling from high places (6 (11%) patients), and traffic accidents (5 (9%) patients). In 6 (11%) patients, MDCT revealed 13 occult fractures in the elbow joint compared to primary radiography. In four (7%) patients a displaced fracture fragment was detected in primary radiography, but the origin of the fragment was unclear. In all four cases, MDCT revealed the origin of the fragment.

CONCLUSION: Radiography remains the primary imaging modality in elbow trauma, but in complex fracture patterns, where the extent of the fractures and the position or origin of dislocated fragments is not clear by radiography, the MDCT is a recommended complementary examination.

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