Treatment of capitellar and trochlear fractures with posterior comminution: minimum 2-year follow-up

Pengfei Wang, Utku Kandemir, Kun Zhang, Binfei Zhang, Zhe Song, Hai Huang, Xing Wei, Hu Wang, Yuxuan Cong, Yan Zhuang
Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery 2018 December 28

HYPOTHESIS: This study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the fixation of Dubberley type B capitellar and trochlear fractures using dorsolateral anatomic plates with support of the distal humerus (DAPSDHs).

METHODS: Fifteen patients with Dubberley type B capitellar and trochlear fractures (two type 1B, five type 2B, and eight type 3B) were treated through the extended lateral approach, and fixation was achieved with DAPSDHs. Radiographic evaluation was performed, and range of motion of the elbow and forearm was recorded. Functional outcomes were assessed using the Mayo Elbow Performance Score and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score.

RESULTS: The mean follow-up period was 32.5 months (range, 24-54 months). Fracture union was achieved in all cases. At the final follow-up, range of motion was as follows: flexion, 123.7° ± 8.1° (range, 110°-135°); lack of extension, 11.0° ± 7.1° (range, 5°-30°); pronation, 81.7° ± 5.6° (range, 70°-90°); and supination, 78.7° ± 5.2° (range, 70°-85°). At the final follow-up, the mean Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score was 11.9 ± 4.0 (range, 4.2-20.8) and the mean Mayo Elbow Performance Score was 89.0 ± 7.1 (range, 70-95). The outcome was rated as excellent in 12 patients (80.0%), good in 2 (13.3%), and fair in 1 (6.7%). Avascular necrosis of the capitellum developed in 1 patient. One patient had implant irritation. Heterotopic ossification developed in 1 patient. Ten patients returned to their previous activity levels.

CONCLUSION: Capitellar and trochlear fractures with posterior comminution are safely and effectively treated through the extended lateral approach using DAPSDHs, resulting in good radiographic and functional outcomes.

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