Long-term outcome of operatively treated fracture-dislocations of the olecranon

  • Lindenhovius A
  • Brouwer K
  • Doornberg J
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVES: To report the long-term results of operative treatment of anterior and posterior olecranon fracture-dislocations and compare them with the results recorded fewer than 2 years after surgery. DESIGN: Retrospective case series with long-term evaluation. SETTING: Level I trauma center. PATIENTS AND PARTICIPANTS: Ten patients with anterior olecranon fracture-dislocation and ten patients with posterior olecranon fracture-dislocation were evaluated after an average of 18 years (range, 11 to 28 years) after injury. Fifteen patients had an early follow-up available at an average 14 months (range, 6 to 24 months) after surgery. The average age at injury was 30 years (range, 14 to 53 years). INTERVENTION: Treatment included plate and screw fixation (11 patients), tension band wiring (8 patients), and radiocapitellar transfixation (1 patient). Six patients had additional elbow surgery before the final evaluation. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Flexion arc, arthrosis, Mayo Elbow Performance Index (MEPI), Disability of Arm Shoulder and Hand questionnaire (DASH). RESULTS: The mean arc of elbow flexion was 105 degrees (range, 15 to 140 degrees) at 1 year and 122 degrees (range 10 to 145 degrees; P = 0.01) at final evaluation. Radiographic arthrosis was observed in 14 patients (70%): severe in 3, moderate in 2, and mild in 9 patients. Five patients (25%) had ulnar nerve dysfunction at the final evaluation. The MEPI was excellent in 13 patients, good in 4, fair in 2, and poor in 1. The mean DASH score was 9 points (range, 0 to 53 points). CONCLUSION: The initial results of operative treatment of fracture-dislocations of the olecranon are durable over time.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Elbow
  • Fracture-dislocation of the olecranon
  • Long-term outcome

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  • Anneluuk L.C. Lindenhovius

  • Kim M. Brouwer

  • Job N. Doornberg

  • David C. Ring

  • Peter Kloen

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