Difference between revisions of "Elbow dislocation"

(Text replacement - "==Treatment==" to "==Management==")
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{{Elbow DDX}}
{{Elbow DDX}}
[[File:Elbow dislocation lateral.jpg|thumb|Lateral view]]
[[File:Elbow dislocation lateral.jpg|thumb|Lateral view]]
[[File:Elbow dislocation AP.jpg|thumb|AP view]]
[[File:Elbow dislocation AP.jpg|thumb|AP view]]

Revision as of 18:26, 22 July 2016


  • Usually due to FOOSH
  • 90% are posterolateral
  • Median and ulnar nerves may be injured
  • "Terrible Triad" injury describes unstable joint consisting of:

Clinical Features

  • Elbow held in 45 degree of flexion; olecranon is prominent posteriorly
  • Swelling may be severe
  • Displaced equilateral triangle of olecranon and epicondyles (undisturbed in supracondylar fracture)

Differential Diagnosis

Elbow Diagnoses





Lateral view
AP view
  • Imaging
    • Look for associated fractures (especially of coronoid and radial head)
    • Lateral: both ulna and radius are displaced posteriorly
    • AP: lateral or medial displacement with ulna/radius in their normal relationship


  • Reduce via longitudinal traction on wrist/forearm with downward pressure on forearm
  • Immobilize in long arm posterior mold with elbow in slightly less than 90deg flexion


  • Obtain emergent consult for irreducible dislocations, nerve or vascular compromise, associated fracture
  • Simple dislocation requires ortho follow up within 1 week

See Also