Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of openorthojLink to Publisher's site
Open Orthop J. 2017; 11: 1345–1346.
Published online 2017 November 30. doi:  10.2174/1874325001711011345
PMCID: PMC5721329
Suppl-8, M1

Editorial: Current Concepts in Elbow Trauma

Elbow injuries are relatively common and have a significant socioeconomic impact, accounting for 10% of all injuries to the upper limb with almost one third of these being dislocations and approximately 10% being fractures [1, 2]. Furthermore, the elbow is the second most commonly dislocated joint in adults and the most commonly dislocated joint in the paediatric population with 40% of these injuries being associated with sport [2, 3]. Injuries patterns can range from simple low-energy dislocations up to high-energy complex fractures and fracture-dislocations.

Historically, the outcomes of complex elbow injuries have been poor with complications including stiffness, recurrent instability, malunions, heterotopic ossification and post-traumatic arthritis [4, 5]. More recently, a better understanding of the relevant osseous and ligamentous anatomy of the elbow with structured step-wise protocols has resulted in better outcomes from even the most severe injuries [6].

The goal of treatment is to restore the elbow to a stable joint with a pain-free functional range-of-motion. Most activities can be performed with a flexion/ extension arc of 30-130 degrees, 50 degrees of pronation and 50 degrees of supination [7]. To achieve this, the treating specialist requires an in-depth knowledge of the anatomy, injury patterns and available operative techniques around the elbow to correctly reconstruct both the osseous and ligamentous components of the injury. The purpose of this special issue is to provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of the most up-to-date techniques and evidence regarding the assessment and management all aspects of common elbow trauma.


1. Ootes D., Lambers K.T., Ring D.C. The epidemiology of upper extremity injuries presenting to the emergency department in the United States. Hand (NY) 2012;7(1):18–22. doi: 10.1007/s11552-011-9383-z. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
2. Kuhn M.A., Ross G. Acute elbow dislocations. Orthop. Clin. North Am. 2008;39(2):155–161, v. doi: 10.1016/j.ocl.2007.12.004. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
3. O’Driscoll S.W. Elbow dislocations. In: Morey B., editor. The elbow and its disorders. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2000. pp. 409–420.
4. Broberg M.A., Morrey B.F. Results of treatment of fracture-dislocations of the elbow. Clin. Orthop. Relat. Res. 1987;(216):109–119. [PubMed]
5. Ring D., Jupiter J.B., Zilberfarb J. Posterior dislocation of the elbow with fractures of the radial head and coronoid. J. Bone Joint Surg. Am. 2002;84-A(4):547–551. doi: 10.2106/00004623-200204000-00006. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
6. Egol K.A., Immerman I., Paksima N., Tejwani N., Koval K.J. Fracture-dislocation of the elbow functional outcome following treatment with a standardized protocol. Bull. NYU Hosp. Jt. Dis. 2007;65(4):263–270. [PubMed]
7. Morrey B.F., Askew L.J., Chao E.Y. A biomechanical study of normal functional elbow motion. J. Bone Joint Surg. Am. 1981;63(6):872–877. doi: 10.2106/00004623-198163060-00002. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

Articles from The Open Orthopaedics Journal are provided here courtesy of Bentham Science Publishers