Treatment of acute and chronic elbow instability with a hinged external fixator after fracture dislocation

Published online: Apr 27 2009

Christoph Zilkens, Markus Graf, Alexandros Anastasiadis, Samir Smajic, Gert Muhr, Thomas Kälicke

From BG University Hospital Trauma Center “Bergmannsheil”, Bochum Germany


This is a retrospective analysis of the clinical and radiological outcome in 24 patients with acute or chronic posttraumatic elbow instability, who were treated with open reduction, internal fixation and a hinged external fixator. The instability was acute after elbow fracture dislocation in 11 cases ; the other 13 had chronic posttraumatic instability of the elbow. Concentric stability and a sufficient range of motion of the elbow joint were achieved in all cases. The addition of a hinged external fixator in non- compliant patients, who underwent open reduction and internal fixation of an acute or chronic post traumatic unstable elbow, allows early intensive mobilisation and can improve the clinical outcome after these complex elbow injuries.