The purpose of this investigation was to review the preliminary results and patients outcome following treatment with an anatomically preshaped LCP in patients with comminuted fractures of the proximal ulna. We hypothesized that this fixation system provides equal or superior results in fracture care when compared with other available plating devices, but results in better patient's comfort due to its low-profile design.
Patients and methods
Between 2007 and 2009, 15 patients with comminuted fractures of the proximal ulna including three posterior Monteggia fractures were managed with the preshaped LCP olecranon plate. The patients were invited for clinical examination at a mean duration of 16 months, retrospectively. Validated patient-oriented assessment scores involving the Mayo Elbow Performance Index (MEPI) and the shortened Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (Quick-DASH) score, postoperative range of motion, objective muscle-strengths testing and patient's satisfaction were evaluated. All patients had follow-up radiographs.
Fourteen patients were available for evaluation. The mean arc of elbow motion was 129°. The mean MEPI was 97 with good results in two patients and excellent results in 12 patients. The mean Quick-DASH was 13. Thirteen of fourteen patients documented satisfaction with their elbow outcome. There was one patient with symptomatic hardware and one patient complained about deficit of motion. In four patients the hardware was removed including two patients with elective removal. Fourteen fractures healed with ulnohumeral congruity after a mean time to union of 11 weeks. One fracture non-union occurred without mechanical failure or loss of reduction.
Anatomically preshaped LCP olecranon plating is an effective fixation method for comminuted fractures of the proximal ulna allowing reliable stability for early elbow motion. The functional results are comparable with formerly described plating systems. A low rate of symptomatic hardware removal suggests better patient's compatibility.
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Accepted: August 4, 2010
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