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Strategies Trauma Limb Reconstr. 2007 Apr;2(1):31-4. doi: 10.1007/s11751-007-0013-9.

Open reduction and corrective ulnar osteotomy for missed radial head dislocations in children.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Amphia Hospital, Molengracht 21, 4818 CK, Breda, The Netherlands,


The treatment of chronic radial head dislocation remains controversial. Open reduction of the radial head in combination with correction of malalignment with ulnar osteotomy can be the key to a good surgical result. Between 2001 and 2006, 9 (6 female, 3 male, average age 8.4 (5-11) years) patients were treated surgically for chronic radial head dislocation by one surgeon. The time between trauma and surgery was 7 (1.5-14) months. The procedure consisted of open reduction of the dislocated radial head and reconstruction of the annular ligament in combination with an ulnar osteotomy. An upper arm cast was applied with the forearm in neutral rotation for six weeks. Plates were removed in all patients. Clinical and radiological evaluation took place preoperatively and after an average of 23 (10-49) months. At radiograph 8/9 showed a reduced radial head; in one an anterior subluxation was seen. The range of motion remained the same in 4 patients who had a full range of motion preoperatively. In 2/5 patients with loss of range of motion preoperatively, improvement was seen. There were no serious surgical complications beside one infection. Open reduction and corrective ulnar osteotomy shows good results for missed radial head dislocations in children.

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