Executive Editor: Peter Trafton, Michael Baumgaertner

Authors: Peter Kloen, David Ring

Proximal forearm Ulna, complete articular

back to skeleton

Glossary

Complete articular fractures of the olecranon are nearly always treated operatively.

Nonoperative
Indication summary Skill Equipment
Well aligned joint on 3DCT and reliability patient Basic surgical experience, no specialized skills Basic equipment only

Further indications

  • Infirm, dependent patient

Contraindications

  • Open fracture
  • Polytrauma

Advantages

  • Avoid medical and surgical risks

Disadvantages

  • Residual subluxation can cause arthritis and may not be possible to successfully treat weeks or months later.
Temporary external fixation
Indication summary Skill Equipment
Extensive soft-tissue damage Some specialized surgical experience Simple surgical and imaging resources

Further indications

  • Infection or severe contamination
  • Major bone loss
  • Joint instability
  • Polytraumatized patients (damage control)

Advantages

  • Quick procedure
  • Easy to perform
  • No additional damage to already injured tissue
  • Stabilizes the fracture for soft-tissue healing

Disadvantages

  • Temporary procedure
  • Pin-track complications
  • Iatrogenic nerve injury
Bridge plate
Indication summary Skill Equipment
Bridge plating is required to maintain anatomic articular congruence Highly experienced and skilled surgeon Full specialized surgical and imaging resources

Contraindications

  • Excessive fragmentation of triceps insertion preventing proximal fixation
  • Soft-tissue compromise

Disadvantage

  • Technically demanding
*Skill
Basic surgical experience, no specialized skills Basic surgical experience, no specialized skills
Some specialized surgical experience Some specialized surgical experience
Highly experienced and skilled surgeon Highly experienced and skilled surgeon
*Equipment
Basic equipment only Basic equipment only
Simple surgical and imaging resources Simple surgical and imaging resources
Full specialized surgical and imaging resources Full specialized surgical and imaging resources

v2.0 2018-04-30