The epidemiology of radial head fractures

Laurens Kaas, Roger P van Riet, Jos P A M Vroemen, Denise Eygendaal
Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery 2010, 19 (4): 520-3

INTRODUCTION: Recent literature shows an increased mean age of female patients with radial head fractures compared with male patients with radial head fractures. However, data on epidemiology of radial head fractures and specifically in relation to age distribution and male-female ratios of radial head fracture are scarce.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective database search was performed to identify all patients with a radial head fracture over a 3-year period.

RESULTS: A total of 328 radial head fractures were diagnosed in 322 patients. The incidence was 2.8 per 10,000 inhabitants per year. The male-female ratio was 2:3. The mean age was 48.0 years (range, 14-88 years; SD, 14.8). The mean age of female patients (52.8 years) was significantly higher than that of male patients (40.5 years) (P = .001). As the age increases above 50 years, the number of female patients becomes significantly higher than the number of male patients (P = .001). An associated osseous injury was present in 40 patients (12.4%).

CONCLUSIONS: Radial head fractures are common, and associated injuries are frequent.

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