Ulnar fracture with late radial head dislocation: delayed Monteggia fracture

Andrea Stitgen, James J McCarthy, Blaise A Nemeth, Kathryn Garrels, Kenneth J Noonan
Orthopedics 2012 March 7, 35 (3): e434-7
Monteggia fractures are rare but commonly discussed lesions, with increasing complications due to late diagnosis. This article describes a case of a Monteggia fracture with delayed dislocation of the radial head. Previous radiographs of a 2-year 8-month-old boy show complete fracture of the distal ulna, with no radial head dislocation. The radial head remained well positioned after 4 weeks. Seven years later, he sustained another arm injury. He was diagnosed with a hematoma but was later believed to have nursemaid's elbow. He presented to our institution 5 weeks after the injury, and the radial head was found to be chronically dislocated, indicating a displacement occurring sometime during the past 7 years. After failing conservative treatment, the patient underwent surgical repair. The annular ligament was reconstructed using a harvested triceps fascia band, and an ulnar osteotomy was performed. A review of the literature found few reports of delayed Monteggia fractures, which accounted the delayed dislocations to ulnar angulation. However, our patient showed minimal ulnar angular deformity. We propose that the initial fracture disrupted the annular ligament and the radial head spontaneously relocated prior to being seen, which put the radial head at risk for later dislocation. We present an alternative hypothesis of dislocation after fracture healing and report the longest known period of delay between fracture and dislocation.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.