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J Trauma. 2011 Feb;70(2):373-6. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181e4f5e3.

Combination of arthrolysis by lateral and medial approaches and hinged external fixation in the treatment of stiff elbow.

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1
Department of Orthopaedics, The Sixth Affiliated People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Various methods are available to treat the stiff elbow. However, there is no consensus on which one is most useful. This study involves the effects of combination of arthrolysis by lateral and medial approaches and hinged external fixation in the treatment of stiff elbow.

PATIENTS:

We treated 12 patients with stiff elbows using a combination of arthrolysis by lateral and medial approaches and hinged external fixation. The arthrolysis was applied to the elbow for complete soft-tissue release, and the hinged external fixation mainly for rehabilitation and stability of the elbow after arthrolysis. With the help of the hinged external fixation, nonsurgical treatment including exercises was effectively performed to maintain the stability and the results of arthrolysis. Before surgery, the mean extension was -35 degrees and the mean flexion 70 degrees. One patient had a loss of 70 degrees in pronation.

RESULTS:

Satisfactory follow-up was given to 11 patients with the mean length of 15 month. The mean postoperative extension was -8 degrees whereas flexion 122 degrees. Two of 11 patients had a transient ulnar paresthesia and returned to normal after 8-month follow-up. The loss of pronation in one patient reduced to 30 degrees afterward. There were no complicating infections. All patients reported satisfactory effect.

CONCLUSION:

The combination of arthrolysis by lateral and medial approaches and hinged external fixation in the treatment of stiff elbow is safe and effective.

PMID:
21307736
DOI:
10.1097/TA.0b013e3181e4f5e3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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