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Bilateral capitellum humeri fracture: a case report and review of the literature.

Author(s): Schindler OS

Journal: Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery
ISSN 1022-5536

Volume: 11;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 207;
Date: 2003;
Original page

We report a case of a 37-year-old woman who sustained a bilateral Hahn-Steinthal type fracture of her capitellum humeri. Open reduction and internal fixation, using extra-articular insertion of Herbert screws, were performed. Both elbows were immobilised for 3 weeks postoperatively. Radiographic signs of union were present at week 8. Within the observation period of 18 months, no signs of avascular necrosis were detected. At the end of the recovery period, despite intensive physiotherapy, the patient was left with a 20 degrees loss of flexion in her right elbow and a 15 degrees loss of extension in her left elbow. We found the use of Herbert screws particularly suitable for this type of injury: it allows good inter-fragmentary compression due to the sub-articular positioning that avoids the risk of damaging the articular surface. Mobilisation should start early to prevent joint stiffness and long-term disability.
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