Author(s): Ring D, Jupiter JB
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Abstract Three patients with ununited osteochondral fracture fragments of the distal humerus (2 anterior capitellum and trochlea; 1 posterior trochlea) who had debridement and realignment of the nonunion, autogenous cancellous bone graft, and internal fixation an average of 6 (range, 5-8) months after injury were studied. The preoperative arc of elbow flexion was 80 degrees, 35 degrees, and 25 degrees. All 3 fractures healed without implant related complications or osteonecrosis. At 28, 27, and 46 months after the index procedure for nonunion, the patients had 95 degrees, 90 degrees, and 115 degrees arcs of elbow flexion. The scores on the Mayo Elbow Performance Index were 80, 80, and 95 (2 good, 1 excellent). Based on this limited experience, it seems that operative treatment of ununited osteochondral fracture fragments can achieve union without osteonecrosis. Attempts to improve the function of the native elbow rather than salvage the situation with interpositional or prosthetic arthroplasty are worthwhile.
This article was published in J Orthop Trauma
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports