Orthopedics Book

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Elbow Posterolateral Fracture Dislocation

Aka: Elbow Posterolateral Fracture Dislocation, Terrible Triad of the Elbow, Fracture Dislocation of the Elbow
  1. See Also
    1. Elbow Dislocation
    2. Radial Head Fracture
    3. Coronoid Process Fracture
  2. Pathophysiology
    1. Terrible Triad of the Elbow (Posterolateral Fracture Dislocation)
      1. Posterior Elbow Dislocation AND
      2. Radial Head Fracture AND
      3. Coronoid Process Fracture
    2. Associated injuries (responsible for instability)
      1. Elbow Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injury (Medial collateral ligament tear)
      2. Joint capsule injury
      3. Lateral collateral ligament tear
    3. Mechanism:
      1. Fall on Outstretched Hand
      2. Other contibuting factors
        1. Axial load
        2. Valgus stress
        3. Posterolateral rotation
  3. Symptoms
    1. Elbow Pain
    2. Clicking
    3. Swelling
    4. Decreased elbow range of motion
  4. Signs
    1. Unstable elbow on reduction (varus and valgus)
    2. Other associated injuries
      1. Ulnar Nerve injury (unable to abduct fingers)
      2. Distal radioulnar joint dislocation
  5. Exam
    1. See Elbow Exam
    2. See Hand Neurovascular Exam
  6. Imaging
    1. Elbow XRay
      1. First-line study which is typically sufficient for diagnosis
    2. Wrist or Forearm XRay
      1. Consider if associated distal injury is suspected
    3. CT Elbow
      1. May be indicated for surgical planning
  7. Management
    1. Elbow closed reduction
      1. Performed under Procedural Sedation
      2. Apply posterior Long Arm Splint
      3. Obtain post-reduction xrays
    2. Operative management
      1. Most patients will undergo surgical repair (e.g. radial head arthroplasty, coronoid repair, ligament repair)
  8. Complications
    1. Chronic elbow instability
    2. Post-Traumatic Arthritis
  9. References
    1. Kiel (2021) Crit Dec Emerg Med 35(9): 16-7

Fracture dislocation of elbow joint (C0434873)

Concepts Injury or Poisoning (T037)
SnomedCT 263078002
English Frac dislocation of elbow jt, fracture dislocation of elbow joint (diagnosis), Fracture dislocation of elbow joint, Fracture dislocation of elbow joint (disorder)
Spanish fractura - luxación de articulación del codo (trastorno), fractura - luxación de articulación del codo, luxación de la articulación el codo (trastorno), luxación de la articulación el codo
Sources
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)


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