BACKGROUND: Acute Essex-Lopresti injury is a rare and disabling condition of longitudinal instability of the forearm. When early diagnosed, patients report better outcomes with higher functional recovery. Aim of this study is to focus on the different lesion patterns causing forearm instability, reviewing literature and the cases treated by the Authors and to propose a new terminology for their identification.
METHODS: Five patients affected by acute Essex-Lopresti injury have been enrolled for this study. ELI was caused in two patients by bike fall, two cases by road traffic accident and one patient by fall while walking. A literature search was performed using Ovid Medline, Ovid Embase, Scopus and Cochrane Library and the Medical Subject Headings vocabulary. The search was limited to English language literature. 42 articles were evaluated, and finally four papers were considered for the review.
RESULTS: All patients were operated in acute setting with radial head replacement and different combinations of interosseous membrane reconstruction and distal radio-ulnar joint stabilization. Patients were followed for a mean of 15 months: a consistent improvement of clinical results were observed, reporting a mean MEPS of 92 and a mean MMWS of 90.8. One case complained persistent wrist pain associated to DRUJ discrepancy of 3 mm and underwent ulnar shortening osteotomy nine months after surgery, with good results.
DISCUSSION: The clinical studies present in literature reported similar results, highlighting as patients properly diagnosed and treated in acute setting report better results than patients operated after four weeks. In this study, the definitions of "Acute Engaged" and "Undetected at Imminent Evolution" Essex-Lopresti injury are proposed, in order to underline the necessity to carefully investigate the anatomical and radiological features in order to perform an early and proper surgical treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Following the observations, the definitions of "Acute Engaged" and "Undetected at Imminent Evolution" injuries are proposed to distinguish between evident cases and more insidious settings, with necessity of carefully investigate the anatomical and radiological features in order to address patients to an early and proper surgical treatment.
- Acute Essex-Lopresti injury
- Forearm instability