Essex-Lopresti fracture

Background

Clinical Features

  • Unstable and painful forearm
  • Axial force from wrist to elbow after fall on outstretched hand
  • Grip weakness and difficulty pronating wrist

Differential Diagnosis

Elbow Diagnoses

Radiograph-Positive

Radiograph-Negative

Pediatric

Evaluation

  • PA and lateral radiographs of the forearm may only show a Radial head fracture
  • Palpate along interosseous membrane to eval for tenderness
  • Radial pull test: > 3mm displacement dorsal/volar is consistent with Essex-Lopresti
  • May require CT to evaluate subtle fractures

Management

  • Orthopedic referral

Disposition

  • Per ortho - usually outpatient operative management (radial head arthroplasty)

See Also

External Links

References