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Tech Hand Up Extrem Surg. 2006 Dec;10(4):239-44.

Simultaneous reconstruction of medial and lateral elbow ligaments for instability using a circumferential graft.

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Modbury Public Hospital, Adelaide, Australia, University Hospital Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.


Reconstructing elbow instability remains a challenging problem. Techniques described have included techniques for the lateral ligamentous complex, including the lateral ulnar collateral ligament, and techniques to reconstruct the medial collateral ligament. We describe a new circumferential technique to reconstruct both the lateral and medial ligament complexes, using 1 circular graft. A hole is drilled through the center of rotation of the distal humerus and through the insertion sites of the medial and lateral ligament complexes. A hamstring tendon graft is passed through the humerus twice to reconstruct the anterior and posterior bands of the medial collateral ligament and sutured onto itself. Endobutton fixation is used to fix the graft on either side of the ulna. The graft is tightened on the lateral and medial sides and fixed into the humerus using interference fit screws. Advantages of the technique described include stabilization of both the medial and lateral ligament complexes with 1 graft. The strength of fixation allows for individual tensioning in all limbs of the reconstruction and the multiple passes of the graft through a single humeral tunnel increasing the strength of the reconstruction. Potential complications could include ulnar nerve damage, recurrent instability, elbow stiffness, and wound breakdown. Complications related to the potential use of a hinged external fixator are not specific to this procedure but can be associated. Early active mobilization can be initiated because of the strong stability provided by the circumferential graft and good fixation.

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