[Treatment of terrible triad of elbow with open reduction and internal fixation through anteromedial approach combined with lateral approach]

Jun-Feng Du, Yang-Yi Zhu
Zhongguo Gu Shang, China Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology 2014, 27 (11): 896-9

OBJECTIVE: To study therapeutic effects of anteromedial approach combined with lateral approach for the treatment of terrible triad of elbow.

METHODS: From November 2009 to March 2013,17 patients with terrible triad of elbow were treated through anteromedial approach combined with lateral approach. There were 11 males and 6 females, with an average age of 36.6 years old, ranging from 22 to 68 years old. Ten patients had fractures in the left side and 7 patients had fractures in the right side. All of which were close fractures. Coronoid process fractures were reduced and treated with internal fixation through the anteromedial approach, and the incision was located between radiocarpus and cubitalis grailis. In order to expose the lateral collateral ligament joint capsule and capitulum radii, Kocher approach was used with the incision between triceps brachii muscle and brachioradialis muscle along condylus lateralis humeri, down to posterior side between anconeus muscle and extensor carpi ulnaris muscle. Then capitulum radii fractures were treated with internal fixation using miniature plates and screws, and lateral collateral ligament complexes were repaired using fasciole rivets. Mayo elbow performance score (MEPS) was used to evaluate clinical effects at the latest follow-up.

RESULTS: All the patients were followed up, and the duration ranged from 13 to 24 months,with a mean of 12.4 months. At the latest follow-up, the average flexion angle of all patients was (134.0 ± 8.8) degrees; the average extension angle was (6.4 ± 2.3) degrees. According to the Mayo criteria system, the average total score was 91.8 ± 7.9, including pain score 42.4 ± 5.9, range of motion score 17.6 ± 2.6, joint stability score 9.7 ± 1.2, and functional score 22.1 ± 2.5; 13 patients got an excellent result and 4 good. Two patients had transient ulnar nerve palsy, and 1 patient had heterotopic ossification. There were no complications such as infection, nonunion, elbow residual instability, dislocation and elbow stiffness.

CONCLUSION: The operation through anteromedial approach combined with lateral approach for the treatment of terrible triad of elbow has advantages of providing both bone and soft-tissue stability simultaneously, allowing early exercise and improving early functional recovery.

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