We have reviewed 20 women and three men aged 22 to 73 years, who had sustained a Mason type-IIb fracture of the neck of the radius 14 to 25 years earlier. There were 19 patients with displacement of the fractures of 2 mm to 4 mm, of whom 13 had been subjected to early mobilisation and six had been treated in plaster for one to four weeks. Of four patients with displacement of 4 mm to 8 mm, three had undergone excision and one an open reduction of the head of radius. A total of 21 patients had no subjective complaints at follow-up, but two had slight impairment and occasional elbow pain. The mean range of movement and strength of the elbow were not impaired. The elbows had a higher prevalence of degenerative changes than the opposite side, but no greater reduction of joint space.
Mason type-IIb fractures have an excellent long-term outcome if operation is undertaken when the displacement of the fracture exceeds 4 mm.