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Age: 20

Sex: Male

Indication: Elbow trauma with deformity

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Case #5


Findings

  • Acute posterior elbow dislocation
  • No acute fracture
  • Elbow joint effusion
  • Soft tissue edema about the elbow


Diagnosis

  • Posterior elbow dislocation

Sample Report

Acute posterior elbow dislocation.

No acute fracture.

Elbow joint effusion.

Soft tissue edema about the elbow without subcutaneous gas.


Discussion

  • The elbow most commonly dislocates posteriorly
  • The typical progression of associated soft tissue injuries is 1) lateral stabilizing ligaments -> 2) joint capsule -> 3) medial stabilizing ligaments
  • A severe dislocation where the coronoid process is posterior to the trochlea, as in this case, is likely to result in damage to all 3
  • The most commonly seen associated fractures are of the radial head and coronoid process. The combination of posterior dislocation with radial head and coronoid process fractures has been called the “terrible triad” as this indicates extensive ligament injury and can progress to chronic instability



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