Research Article| Volume 1, ISSUE 4, P225-235, November 2001

Fractures of the radial head

  • William J Morgan
    Address reprint requests to William J. Morgan, MD, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Chief of Hand & Upper Extremity Service, UMass Memorial Health Care, Worcester, MA
    Hand and Upper Extremity Service, University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care, Worcester, MA
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      Recommendations regarding the management of radial head fractures have experienced an evolution over the past 2 decades. Prior recommendations consisted of early range of motion for nondisplaced fractures and radial head excision for displaced fractures. Development of improved surgical techniques and implants along with a better understanding of the biomechanics of the elbow have pushed recommendations toward restitution of the normal anatomy of the elbow by rigid open reduction and internal fixation of displaced radial head fractures. Radial head excision is recommended where rigid internal fixation is impossible, and prosthetic radial head replacement may be required with associated ligamentous instability of the elbow, forearm, or wrist. Copyright © 2001 by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand
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