Year : 2014  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 45-51

A new technique for surgical management of old unreduced elbow dislocations: Results and analysis

Department of Orthopedics, Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Parag Garg
Room No. 219, Doctors Quarters, Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital, AJC Bose Road, Kolkata - 700 020, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2319-2585.145599

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Background: Open reduction of neglected dislocations of elbow often leads to less than optimal results. Extensive release during reduction and early mobilization may lead to instability. Post-surgical immobilization to recover the stability leads to loss of range of motion. Arafiles described a technique of creating a cruciate ligament like structure to provide stability while early mobilization is advocated. We have modified this technique in several aspects. We report a retrospective analysis of 26 such cases where we evaluated and compared the standard immobilization technique of K-wires with this new modified technique. Materials and Methods: Twenty-six consecutive cases of dislocated elbow with duration ranging from 4 to 56 months were included in this study. We performed standard open reduction and fixation with K-wire followed by immobilization for 3 weeks for the first 12 cases. In the next 14 cases after standard release and reduction we provided extra stability by adding a cruciate ligament like structure both on the medial and lateral side using autologous semitendinosus graft. Post-operative mobilization was advised the very next day. We evaluated the results of this technique and compared it with the previous one using MEPI scores, complication rate and radiological evaluation.Results: The average follow-up duration for the 26 patients is 4.5 years (2−7 years). All patients achieved full functional ROM in both planes. The mean increase in the MEPI score was significantly more for group II (53.5) than group I (36.6). Movement, activities and stability was better for this group II. Complication rates for both were similar.Conclusion: Providing stability at the time of operation with a mediolateral cruciate ligament provides the option of immediate mobilization post-operatively in open reduction of neglected dislocations of elbow. Thus, this technique provides excellent results disregarding the duration of dislocation with minimal morbidity for the patient.

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