The treatment of post-traumatic stiffness of the elbow.

G. Pignatti, D. Ferrari, D. Tigani, M. Scardovi, P. Trentanti, F. Trentani, A. Giunti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors present the results observed in 12 patients affected with post-traumatic stiffness of the elbow treated by an external fixator in distraction to obtain functional recovery of range of movement; in all of the cases anterior and posterior release and resection of the apex of the olecranon was carried out, while in 2 cases interposition arthroplasty with freeze-dried dura madre was associated. The series includes 12 cases with a long-term follow-up that ranges from 8 to 33 months after surgery. The mean arch of movement during the preoperative phase was 35 degrees (minimum 0 degree-maximum 90 degrees) in flexion extension and 80 degrees (minimum 0 degree-maximum 150 degrees) in pronosupination. Recovery of mean joint excursion in flexion-extension was 91 degrees and in pronosupination it was 127 degrees. Complications included loosening of the nails in 2 cases, breakage of the nails in 1 case, and transitory deficit of the ulnar nerve in 4 cases. A total of 11 patients (91.66%) declared that they were satisfied with the considerable improvement in their ability to do daily activities. The results of arthroplasty in distraction in the elbow are satisfactory even if much attention must be paid to the selection of the patients because of the intense collaboration that is required during postoperative rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
JournalLa Chirurgia degli organi di movimento
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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