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Chronic Radial Head Dislocation in Children, Part 2: Results of Open Treatment and Factors Affecting Final Outcome

Kim, Hui Taek M.D.; Park, Byung Guk M.D.; Suh, Jeung Tak M.D.; Yoo, Chong Il M.D.


Fifteen elbows (3 congenital, 12 traumatic) in 14 children (mean age 9.5 years) with chronic radial head dislocation for at least 3 months (range 3–180 months) underwent radial head-sparing reconstructive surgery and were followed up at an average of 43.5 months postoperatively (range 12–105 months). At follow-up, the patients were evaluated radiographically and clinically using range-of-motion measurements and an elbow performance score based on four parameters (deformity, pain, motion, function). Ten cases had excellent results, two had good results, two had fair results, and one case had poor results. Scores at follow-up were evaluated with seven preoperative factors. Among those, the degree of preoperative carrying angle asymmetry associated with flexion contracture correlated significantly with the elbow scores. The most common complication was loss of pronation. The authors advocate radial head reduction and reconstruction in chronic radial head dislocations in children after obtaining informed consent from patient and parents.

Study conducted at Pusan National University Hospital, Pusan, Korea

From the Pediatric Orthopaedic Unit, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Pusan National University Hospital, Pusan, Korea.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. H. T. Kim, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Pusan National University Hospital, 1Ga-10, Ami-Dong, Seo-Gu, Pusan, 602–739, Korea (e-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.