Treatment of Ipsilateral Distal Humerus and Diaphyseal Ulna Fractures by Using an Olecranon Osteotomy and Intramedullary Nail

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Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the results of treatment of an osteotomy of the olecranon and an ulnar diaphyseal fracture with a single nail, in cases with an ipsilateral ulnar diaphyseal fracture and a comminuted fracture of the distal humerus.

Design:

Retrospective clinical study.

Setting:

University-affiliated teaching hospital.

Patients:

Eight patients with comminuted fractures of the distal humerus and ipsilateral ulnar diaphyseal fractures were included.

Intervention:

Using a transolecranon approach, internal fixation of the distal humeral fracture with medial and lateral plates was performed. The ulnar diaphyseal fracture and additional osteotomy were fixed using a locked intramedullary nail. Subjective pain assessment was performed by using a visual analog scale (VAS).

Results:

There were 6 (75%) male and 2 (25%) female patients, with a mean age of 40.9 (range, 32–56) years. The mean follow-up period was 24.6 (range, 12–36) months. All patients achieved union of the ulnar diaphyseal fracture and olecranon osteotomy. Union of the distal humeral fracture was observed in 7 (87.5%) patients. The mean time to union was 16.3 (range, 12–22) weeks, mean visual analog scale score was 1.8 (range, 0–3), median elbow performance score was 85 (range, 70–95), and median disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand score was 17.9 (range, 5–45.8).

Conclusions:

Osteotomy of the olecranon and ulnar diaphyseal fracture using an intramedullary nail was a cosmetically advantageous and safe technique that enabled rehabilitation during the early postoperative period.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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