RADIAL HEAD FRACTURE                                           KANDIL NOTES

INTRODUCTION

  • A radial head fracture is an injury to one of the elbow bones, on the outer part of the elbow

  • It is often associated with an elbow lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury

  • The common classification system for radial head fractures is the Mason Classification

  • CAUSES

  • Often due to fall on elbow with outstretched arm

  • Sometimes associated with elbow dislocation

  • SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Pain and tenderness on the outer part of the elbow

  • Elbow stiffness and loss of elbow straightening or bending

  • Elbow swelling and bruising

  • TREATMENT​​

  • Treatment of radial head fractures depends on the Mason classification system

  • Most radial head fractures are Mason Type 1 and treatment is conservative

  • Treatment plan consists of a very short period of sling use followed by early range of motion. Key is to begin motion early because stiffness is the #1 complication

  • For Mason type 2,3,4 with mechanical block to motion, treatment is usually surgical

  • If fracture is reducible, surgical fixation with screws and possible a small plate can be considered

  • If fracture is broken into too many small pieces, then a radial head replacement may be necessary

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