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Congruent elbow plate fixation of olecranon fractures.

OBJECTIVES: We hypothesize that clinical results and patient outcomes following treatment of olecranon fractures with a congruent elbow plating system will be comparable to other available plating systems. Our results will be compared to previously published reports.

DESIGN: Retrospective study.

SETTING: Level 1 academic referral center.

PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS: The trauma registry was reviewed to identify all olecranon fractures treated with open reduction and internal fixation between January 2001 and December 2004 using the Mayo Congruent Elbow Plate system. Thirty-two patients were identified. Postoperative range of motion was initiated within 2 weeks postoperatively. Mean time to follow-up was 2.2 years (0.7-5.1). All patients had follow-up radiographs. Outcome scores were available on 24 of the 32 patients.

INTERVENTION: Medical records and radiographs of all patients were reviewed.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Objective measures included radiographic healing, postoperative range of motion, and complications. Subjective functional results included Mayo Elbow Performance (MEP) score; Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) score; and patient satisfaction.

RESULTS: Of the 32 fractures, 30 went on to union. Three patients had symptomatic hardware that was removed. There was 1 infection and 1 failure of fixation also requiring hardware removal. Average arc of motion was 120 degrees. Subjective follow-up was available in 75% of patients. Mean DASH was 32. Mean MEPS was 89, with 92% good or excellent results.

CONCLUSIONS: Congruent anatomic plating is a safe, effective option for the treatment of olecranon fractures with a low rate of hardware removal and stability with early motion.

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