Certain elbow injuries, notably supracondylar fractures, present themselves with a painful swollen elbow, an absent radial pulse, and a cold anaesthetic hand. If, after careful reduction, there is still diminished or absent radial pulse with loss of sensation of the hand, loss of voluntary motor power, and pain in the elbow increasing hour by hour, Volkmann's contracture is impending. Immediate operation is necessary. The operation should be a fasciotomy. Appreciation of these facts is important, not only in saving function, but also in lightening the burden of medicolegal responsibility that falls upon the doctors who treat these patients.
(C) 1935 All Rights Reserved.The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.