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The Midaxial (Universal) Approach to the Lateral Elbow

Schrumpf, Mark MD; Daluiski, Aaron MD; Richards, Joshua MD; Hotchkiss, Robert N. MD

Techniques in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery: March 2011 - Volume 12 - Issue 1 - p 6–11
doi: 10.1097/BTE.0b013e318206066d

Surgical exposure of the lateral elbow is commonly required for treatment of many elbow disorders. When approaching the lateral elbow, 2 structures are at risk, namely the lateral collateral ligamentous complex and the posterior interosseous nerve. The described approaches that seek to limit iatrogenic injury to these structures are the Kocher approach, the Kaplan approach, Heim/Pfeiffer approach, and our preferred approach, the lateral midaxial approach. These approaches can be applied in treatment of radial head and neck fractures, elbow contracture releases, lateral collateral ligament repairs, radial head arthroplasty, and isolated lateral column humerus fractures.

Hospital For Special Surgery

Reprints: Aaron Daluiski, MD, 523 ERPB 523 E 72nd Street, 4th floor New York, NY 10021 (e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.