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Clin Shoulder Elbow > Volume 20(1); 2017 > Article
Clinics in Shoulder and Elbow 2017;20(1):49-56.
DOI:    Published online March 31, 2017.
Surgical Treatment of Olecranon Fractures
Kyoung Hwan Koh, Hyoung Keun Oh
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
Received: 11 December 2016   • Revised: 22 February 2017   • Accepted: 23 February 2017
Since the olecranon fractures are caused by relatively low-energy injuries, such as a fall from standing height, they are usually found without comminution. Less commonly they can be developed by high-energy injuries and have severe concomitant comminution or injuries to surrounding structures of the elbow. Because the fracture by nature is intra-articular with the exception of some avulsion-type fracture, a majority of olecranon fractures are usually indicated for surgical treatment. Even if there is minimal displacement, surgical treatment is recommended because there is a possibility of further displacement by the traction force of triceps tendon. The most common type of olecranon fracture is displaced, simple non-comminuted fracture (that is, Mayo type IIA fractures). Although tension band wiring was the most widespread treatment method for these fractures previously, there is some trends toward fixation using locking plates. Primary goal of the surgery is to restore a congruent joint and extensor mechanisms by accurate reduction and stable fixation so that range of motion exercises can be performed. The literature has shown that good clinical outcomes are achieved irrespective of surgical fixation technique. However, since the soft tissue envelope around the elbow is poor and the implants are located at the subcutaneous layer, implant irritation is still the most common complication associated with surgical treatment.
Key Words: Olecranon process; Fracture fixation; Review


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