Transverse Divergent Dislocation of the Elbow With Ipsilateral Distal Radius Fracture in a Child

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We report a rare case of an irreducible transverse divergent dislocation of the elbow with an ipsilateral distal radius torus fracture and a fracture of the coronoid process in a 9-year-old male. Closed reduction of the elbow was attempted, but the humeroulnar joint remained dislocated. At surgery, the avulsed anterior band of the medial collateral ligament complex of the elbow was found to be interposed between the medial condyle of the humerus and the olecranon. The dislocation was reduced after relieving the ligament entrapment, which was then repaired. The unstable proximal radioulnar joint was fixed with a Kirschner wire. Two years after surgery, the patient had a painless left elbow with full range of motion and no instability. He was able to use his upper extremity for all activities in his daily life and had returned to sports. No radiographic abnormalities were found at this follow-up, particularly premature epiphyseal closure of the radial head. Closed reduction has been successful in a majority of reported cases of transverse divergent dislocation of the elbow, yet the presence of an incomplete reduction of the ulnohumeral joint should alert the physician to the possible interposition of soft tissues or bony fragments necessitating an open reduction.

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