Complex elbow dislocations

J. D. Wyrick, S. K. Dailey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Complex elbow dislocations include all elbow dislocations with an associated fracture. Complex elbow dislocations are debilitating for patients and can be challenging for the treating orthopedic surgeon. Evaluation of the patient with a complex elbow dislocation begins with a thorough neurovascular examination followed by appropriate imaging, including a computed tomography scan with reconstructions. Surgical intervention is typically required and may include open reduction and internal fixation, ligament repair, or even a hinged external fixator for more complex cases. Recurrent instability, stiffness, pain, heterotopic ossification, neurologic damage, and post-traumatic arthritis are among the most common complications. Improper management of these injuries and their complications may result in long-term dysfunction and significant pain. This chapter aims to educate the practitioner about these injuries and assist in complication prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Elbow
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9781782424734
ISBN (Print)9781782424505
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Complex elbow dislocation
  • Coronoid fracture
  • Posterolateral rotatory instability
  • Posteromedial instability
  • Radial head fracture
  • Terrible triad

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Health Professions(all)


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