Anterolateral Approach for Distal Third Humeral Shaft Fractures: A Surgical Approach Using 3 Soft-tissue Windows

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An anterolateral approach is described for the treatment of distal third humeral shaft fractures. The approach using 3 soft-tissue windows combines an anterior brachialis muscle splitting approach, a muscle interval exposure of the radial nerve between the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles, and a lateral exposure of the lateral epicondyle and the supracondylar ridge. Six patients using this approach are reported. At an average of 8 months (range, 2 to 29 mo) follow-up, all fractures had healed. The average range of motion was 11 to 132 degrees of elbow extension and flexion and 70 to 88 degrees of pronation and supination. There was only 1 minor complication. The anterolateral approach is a relatively straightforward approach, allowing for adequate exposure and fixation of distal third humeral shaft fractures.

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