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Elbow arthroscopy: valgus extension overload.

by Christopher S Ahmad, John E Conway
Instructional course lectures ()

Abstract

Valgus torque combined with deceleration produces high compression and shear forces acting on the posteromedial olecranon and the posteromedial trochlea. This valgus extension overload process may cause posteromedial trochlea chondromalacia, chondral flap formation, osteochondrosis, subchondral erosion, a subchondral insufficiency fracture, and marginal exostosis formation. Olecranon pathologies include proximal stress reaction, a posteromedial tip stress fracture, a transverse proximal process stress fracture, exostosis formation, exostosis fragmentation, and intra-articular loose bodies. Symptoms include posteromedial elbow pain during the deceleration phase of the throwing motion. The extension impingement test reproduces posterior or posteromedial pain similar to that experienced while throwing. Special radiographic techniques and CT scans can show loose bodies and osteophyte fragmentation. Surgical treatment is indicated when symptoms persist despite nonsurgical management. Based on clinical and basic science research, all patients with valgus extension overload should be comprehensively evaluated for medial ulnar collateral ligament insufficiency. Surgical treatment is limited to the resection of osteophytes only; normal olecranon should not be resected.

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