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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1998 Sep;80(5):805-12.

Post-traumatic contracture of the elbow. Operative release using a lateral collateral ligament sparing approach.

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Indiana Hand Center, Indianapolis 46280, USA.


We performed a lateral approach for the release of post-traumatic stiffness of the elbow in 22 patients using a modified technique designed to spare the lateral ligaments. They were reviewed after a mean interval of 26 months. The total humeroulnar joint movement had increased from a mean of 74 degrees to 129 degrees and forearm rotation from a mean of 135 degrees to 159 degrees. Both pain and function in the elbow had improved significantly. This modified lateral approach allows release of post-traumatic contracture without disruption of the lateral collateral ligament or the origins of the extensor tendon at the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. The advantages include a simplified surgical procedure, less operative morbidity, and unrestricted rehabilitation.

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