INTERCONDYLAR FRACTURES OF THE DISTAL HUMERUS: ROUTINE ANTERIOR SUBCUTANEOUS TRANSPOSITION OF THE ULNAR NERVE IN A POSTERIOR OPERATIVE APPROACH


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Abstract

Intercondylar fractures of the distal humerus in adults are rare and notoriously difficult to treat. The goals of open reduction are to preserve the articular surface and restore elbow function. We treated 20 patients by open reduction with dual-plate internal fixation and routine anterior subcutaneous transposition of the ulnar nerve. The follow-up period ranged from 15 to 35 months. The fractures were classified according to Muller's system. The results were evaluated using the Cassebaum rating system and subjective functional status. Excellent or good results were achieved in 15 elbows (75%), two had a fair result, and three, poor. A clearer understanding of fracture patterns, rigid dual-plate internal fixation, and early rehabilitation are needed to improve the results from this vexing injury. We recommend routine ulnar nerve anterior subcutaneous transposition using a posterior approach. Compared with published reports, our preliminary results demonstrated no postoperative ulnar nerve compression syndrome at follow-up. Routine anterior subcutaneous transposition of the ulnar nerve to avoid the postoperative ulnar nerve compression syndrome is required.

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