Between January 1996 and July 2003, 93 consecutive patients operated on with a diagnosis of olecranon fractures were identified from our trauma unit files. Fourteen transolecranon fracture-dislocations were found after a retrospective X-radiographic evaluation. Eight patients were women and six were men, with a mean age of 54 years. There were 4 noncomminuted olecranon fractures, treated with K-wires and single tension-band wiring. The remaining 10 fractures were complex fractures, treated in 3 cases with multiple K-wires and single tension-band wiring, in 2 by use of one-third tubular plates, in 1 with a 3.5-mm dynamic compression plate, and in the remaining 4 with 3.5-mm reconstruction plates. Ligament repair was not performed in any case. Three patients needed reoperation because of early failure of primary fixation. Patients were reviewed at a mean follow-up of 3.6 years. Two reported difficulties in daily activities, none with any symptoms of elbow instability. According to the Broberg and Morrey score, 4 patients had excellent results, 6 had good results, 2 had fair results, and 2 had poor results. Four patients showed signs of degenerative arthritis on the radiographs obtained at follow-up. We conclude that transolecranon fracture-dislocation is an underreported and misdiagnosed injury. Various fixation techniques can restore the anatomic relationships and contour of the trochlear notch; the imperative goal is to obtain a good stable primary fixation and allow early active mobilization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine