JOURNAL ARTICLE

Dislocation of the elbow with fractures of the coronoid process and radial head

Thomas Kälicke, Gert Muhr, Thomas M Frangen
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 2007, 127 (10): 925-31
17713772

INTRODUCTION: The aim of the study was to evaluate the factors relevant to prognosis after operative treatment of an elbow dislocation/fracture involving the coronoid process and the radial head. In 30-50% of cases, elbow dislocations are accompanied by concomitant bony injuries. Here, the ulnar coronoid process and the radial head are particularly crucial to the stability of the elbow joint.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a retrospective study, 27 out of 37 patients who were treated surgically in our clinic between 1990 and 1999 for elbow dislocation with involvement of the coronoid process and the radial head were examined after an average of 36 months.

RESULTS: According to the criteria of the Morrey Score, 2 patients achieved an extremely good therapeutic result, 10 patients a good therapeutic result and 12 patients a moderate therapeutic result. A poor result was achieved in three cases.

CONCLUSION: Elbow dislocations with involvement of the ulnar coronoid process and the radial head are complex injuries and their surgical treatment and aftercare need to be handled by a skilled and experienced traumatologist. In this process, the precondition for regaining a stable joint with good function is, above all, early, exercise-stable fixation and/or reconstruction of the coronoid process and early functional mobilization of the joint.

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