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Acute traumatic posterior elbow dislocation in children

Lieber, Justus; Zundel, Sabine M.; Luithle, Tobias; Fuchs, Jörg; Kirschner, Hans-Joachim

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics B: September 2012 - Volume 21 - Issue 5 - p 474–481
doi: 10.1097/BPB.0b013e328354b08c
Upper Limb

Traumatic posterior dislocation of the elbow is often associated with significant morbidity and incomplete recovery. The aim of this study was to retrospectively analyse the outcome of 33 children (median age 10.8 years). Patients underwent reduction and assessment of stability under general anaesthesia. Pure dislocations (n=10) were immobilized, whereas unstable fractures (n=23) were stabilized. Refixation of ligaments was performed if stability was not achieved by fracture stabilization alone. Immobilization was continued for 26 (pure dislocations) or 35 days (associated injuries), respectively. Results were excellent (n=9) or good (n=1) after pure dislocation. Results were excellent (n=15), good (n=7) or poor (n=1) in children with associated injuries. Accurate diagnosis, concentric stable reduction of the elbow as well as stable osteosynthesis of displaced fractures are associated with good results in children with acute posterior elbow dislocations.

Department of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Urology, University Children’s Hospital, Tübingen, Germany

Correspondence to Justus Lieber, MD, Department of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Urology, University Children’s Hospital, Hoppe-Seyler-Strasse 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany Tel: +49 707 129 86621; fax: +49 707 129 4046; e-mail: justus.lieber@med.uni-tuebingen.de

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.