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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 584-589

A comparative study of conservative functional treatment versus acute ligamentous repair in simple dislocation of the elbow in adults

1 Department of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital Brno, Brno, Czech Republic
2 Institute of Biostatistics and Analysis, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Milan Krticka
Department of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital Brno, Jihlavska 20, 60200 Brno
Czech Republic
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ortho.IJOrtho_578_16

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Background: Elbow dislocation is the second most frequent type of large joint dislocations in adults. Standard treatment of simple elbow dislocation (SED) without manifestation of instability includes closed reduction, short-term immobilization of the elbow followed by functional aftercare. This study evaluates SED treatment, comparing outcomes of conservative functional treatment and surgical therapy. Materials and Methods: 54 adult patients with SED without manifest instability treated in tertiary hospital between January 2008 and June 2015 were analyzed in this retrospective study. 28 patients were treated conservatively. Closed elbow reduction was followed by short-term plaster splint and active rehabilitation. Twenty six patients underwent closed elbow reduction and subsequent reconstruction of torn collateral ligaments. Postoperatively, plaster splint was applied followed by rehabilitation. Results: Patients who were treated conservatively reached statistically significant better scores in Quick Disability Arm Shoulder Hand, Oxford Elbow Score, and Mayo Elbow Performance Score. Functional conservative treatment resulted in a higher range of motion. The complication rate was higher in the group of surgically treated patients. Conclusions: Careful examination of elbow stability after closed reduction of SED is crucial for further therapy. Patients with stable SED should be treated with functional conservative therapy. Surgical collateral ligaments revision and reconstruction are indicated only for patients with manifestation of elbow instability.

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