Pediatric Emergency Care

Skip Navigation LinksHome > May 2011 - Volume 27 - Issue 5 > Transverse Divergent Dislocation of Elbow in a Child: A Case...
Pediatric Emergency Care:
doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3182187438
Illustrative Cases

Transverse Divergent Dislocation of Elbow in a Child: A Case Report and Review of Current Literature

George, Harvey L. MS, MRCS*; Unnikrishnan, Puthanveetil Nithin MBBS, MRCS*; Bass, Alfie FRCS*; Waseem, Mohammed FRCS†; Brownson, Peter FRCS‡

Collapse Box


We present a case report on transverse divergent dislocation of the elbow, highlighting the spatial relation among the proximal radius, ulna, and distal humerus in this rare pediatric elbow injury and reasons leading to misinterpretation of radiographs. Elbow dislocation is a rare injury in children. It comprises only 6% of pediatric elbow injuries. Most pure dislocations are posterior, but they can occur in any direction. Divergent dislocation of the elbow is a subgroup of posterior dislocation, which is extremely rare. It is important that the pediatric emergency physician is aware, able to identify, and manage this injury. It is defined as a specific elbow dislocation in which the distal humerus is forced between the proximal radius and ulna, resulting in the divergence of the proximal forearm bones. Joint laxity is said to be a predisposing cause in pediatric age group. Atraumatic divergent dislocation of the elbow has been reported in the adults with rheumatoid arthritis. Imaging is challenging because there is no defined specific radiological views, therefore making the diagnosis difficult. This often leads to misdiagnosis or inappropriate treatment. A thorough understanding of mechanism of injury and basis for atypical radiological findings will help in identifying the injury early, and the simple Thompson technique to relocate the elbow will give an excellent functional outcome.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.