Research Article| Volume 18, ISSUE 1, P44-47, January 1987

Fractures of the radial head—the benefit of aspiration: a prospective controlled trial

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      The clinical progress of 80 adults with fractures of the radial head was followed prospectively. Early active movement of the elbow and forearm was encouraged in all patients. Better functional results were achieved by the study group than by retrospective controls in whom active movement was delayed. Aspiration of the elbow and instillation of local anaesthetic were carried out in a randomly selected half of the patients. This afforded relief of pain in 92 per cent and made early movement more comfortable. The fracture was more common in women. Functional recovery was best in younger patients and was closely related to the severity of the fracture.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Injury
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Adler J.B.
        • Shaftan G.W.
        Radial head fractures. Is excision necessary?.
        J. Trauma. 1963; 4: 115
        • Arner O.
        • Ekengren K.
        • von Schreeb T.
        Fractures of the head and neck of the radius.
        Acta Chir. Scand. 1957; 112: 115
        • Bakalim G.
        Fractures of radial head and their treatment.
        Acta Orthop. Scand. 1970; 41: 320
        • Charnley J.
        The Closed Treatment of Common Fractures. E. and S. Livingstone, Edinburgh1950: 77
        • Fleetcroft J.P.
        Fractures of the radial head: early aspiration and mobilisation.
        J. Bone Joint Surg. 1984; 66B: 141
        • Gaston S.R.
        • Smith F.M.
        • Baab O.D.
        Adult injuries of the radial head and neck.
        Am. J. Surg. 1949; 78: 631
        • Johansson O.
        Capsular and ligament injuries of the elbow joint.
        Acta Chir. Scand. 1962; 287 (Suppl.)
        • Mason M.L.
        Some observations on fractures of the head of the radius with a review of one hundred cases.
        Br. J. Surg. 1954; 42: 123
        • Miller G.K.
        • Drennan D.B.
        • Maylahn D.J.
        Treatment of displaced segmental radial head fractures.
        J. Bone Joint Surg. 1981; 63A: 712
        • Murray R.C.
        Fractures of the head and neck of the radius.
        Br. J. Surg. 1940; 28: 106
        • Pinder I.M.
        Fractures of the head of the radius in adults.
        J. Bone Joint Surg. 1969; 51B: 386
        • Protzman R.R.
        Dislocation of the elbow joint.
        J. Bone Joint Surg. 1978; 60A: 539
        • Quigley T.B.
        Aspiration of the elbow joint in the treatment of fractures of the head of the radius.
        N. Engl. J. Med. 1949; 240: 915
        • Radin E.L.
        • Riseborough E.J.
        Fractures of the radial head.
        J. Bone Joint Surg. 1966; 48A: 1055
        • Rockwood C.A.
        • Green D.P.
        Fractures. 1. Lippincott, Philadelphia, Toronto1975: 457
        • Wadsworth T.G.
        The Elbow. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh1982