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Controversies in the Management of Bicolumnar Fractures of the Distal Humerus

Published:November 12, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhsa.2022.10.006
      Bicolumnar fractures of the distal humerus pose numerous treatment challenges for upper-extremity surgeons. Although open reduction and internal fixation demonstrates advantages compared with nonsurgical treatment, restoration of osseous anatomy can be difficult, particularly for comminuted, intra-articular fractures. Despite well-recognized complications, total elbow arthroplasty remains an option for elderly patients with fractures not amenable to fixation. Although indications remain controversial, distal humerus hemiarthroplasty has emerged as a potential alternative to total elbow arthroplasty in carefully selected patients with nonreconstructable fractures. Numerous controversies remain with respect to the management decisions for these complex injuries, including the optimal surgical approach, management of the ulnar nerve, and ideal fixation constructs for open reduction internal fixation. Our purpose is to review the management of bicolumnar distal humerus fractures in adult patients and discuss current controversies related to treatment.

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