Annular ligament reconstruction in chronic Monteggia fracture-dislocations in the adult population: indications and surgical technique

G Canton, B Hoxhaj, R Fattori, L Murena
Musculoskeletal Surgery 2018, 102 (Suppl 1): 93-102
Chronic Monteggia fracture is defined as dislocation of the radial head that is still present 4 weeks after injury. The cause may reside in residual ulnar deformity after internal fixation, in failure of annular ligament healing, or both. This situation may lead to elbow pain, decreased motion, neurologic problems and valgus deformity. The aim of the present study is to investigate indications and surgical technique for annular ligament reconstruction (ALR) in chronic Monteggia fractures. Relevant articles on annular ligament anatomy and biomechanics, clinical-radiographic evaluation of chronic Monteggia lesions and surgical techniques for ALR were reviewed. A case of an ALR in chronic Monteggia injury using a modified Bell Tawse surgical technique with triceps tendon autograft is presented. Little data exist on chronic Monteggia injury in the adult population. The annular ligament has a critical role in radial head stability. Nonetheless, bony alignment of the ulna is confirmed to be the most relevant feature to address in chronic Monteggia fractures. ALR has been advocated to address radial head instability both combined with ulna osteotomy and as a single procedure, with several surgical techniques described and controversial results reported. A modified Bell Tawse surgical technique resulted to be effective in the presented case. ALR seems to be indicated in chronic Monteggia fractures with normal bony alignment, without conclusive evidence on a preferable surgical technique.

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