Large coronal shear fractures of the capitellum and trochlea treated with headless compression screws

Mark Mighell, Nazeem A Virani, Robert Shannon, Eddy L Echols, Brian L Badman, Christopher J Keating
Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery 2010, 19 (1): 38-45

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to retrospectively evaluate the clinical outcomes of 18 patients with large coronal shear fractures of the capitellum and lateral trochlea that underwent open reduction and internal fixation with headless compression screws.

METHODS: Eighteen patients were identified (16 women, 2 men) with an average age of 45 years and an average follow-up of 26 months. Fractures were classified according to the Dubberley classification as 11 type-1A injuries and 7 type-2A injuries.

RESULTS: All patients, with the exception of 1, had good to excellent functional results by the Broberg-Morrey scale (mean score, 93.3). Average arc of motion was 128 degrees in flexion/extension and 176 degrees in pronation/supination. Radiographically, 3 patients had subsequent development of avascular necrosis and 5 developed arthrosis. No significant negative correlation was noted between the development of avascular necrosis and clinical outcome. Minor complications occurred in 2 patients, but there were no re-operations.

CONCLUSION: Headless compression screw fixation allows for stable fixation in patients with large coronal shear fractures of the distal humerus without posterior comminution.


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