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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-6

Results of intra-articular distal humerus fracture treated with open reduction and internal fixation

Department of Orthopaedics, NHL Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Shivam K Kavi
Junior Resident, Department of Orthopaedics, Smt. NHL Medical College, Ahmedabad - 380 007, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jodp.jodp_61_22

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Introduction: Distal humerus fractures are uncommon injuries that account for fewer than 2% of all adult fractures. The complex shape of the elbow joint, the adjacent neurovascular structures, and the soft-tissue envelope combine to make these fractures difficult to treat. The treatment usually consists of determining the injury mechanism and developing a treatment algorithm to regain full mobility of the joint. Materials and Methods: This is a prospective study of 20 cases of distal humerus intra-articular fracture treated by open reduction and internal fixation at our institute during 2017–2019. All the patients in this study were above 18 years of age. These patients were treated with open reduction and internal fixation either by paratricipital approach for fractures with minimal intra-articular comminution or by olecranon osteotomy approach for fractures with more intra-articular comminution. Results: In this study of 20 patients with distal humerus fracture treated with open reduction and internal fixation with ages ranging from 18–65 years, 13 (65%) were male patients and 7 (35%) were female patients. 12 (60%) patients had fracture on the left side, and 8 (40%) patients had fracture on the right side. 11 (55%) patients sustained fractures following the fall from height, and 9 (45%) patients had fracture due to a road traffic accident. Postoperatively, 2 (10%) patients had superficial infection; both patients recovered with antibiotics. In our study, 17 (85%) patients had excellent results, and 3 (15%) patients had a good result according to the Mayo Elbow Performance Score. Conclusion: Distal humerus intra-articular fractures require anatomical reduction of intra-articular components. Vigorous, active physiotherapy is a must for good results. Rigid internal fixation is best accomplished by low-profile anatomical plate fixation, which provides an optimal biomechanical stability; hence, early mobilization can be started, and a good functional outcome can be achieved with a low complication rate.

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