Acta Ortopédica Mexicana

López-Almejo L, Gutiérrez MI, Valdos PA, Molina MAR
Type V floating elbow with type III A3 exposure and nerve injury. initial and definitive treatment with a minimally invasive technique. A case report
Acta Ortop Mex 2010; 24 (4)

Language: Español
References: 23
Page: 273-279
PDF: 0. Kb.

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Background: the increased number of high energy accidents has led to the occurrence of several injuries in a single extremity, particularly among youths. Stanitski and Micheli defined the floating elbow as a forearm fracture plus an ipsilateral supracondylar fracture. Its incidence ranges from 3% to 13%, predominant ages are 7 to 11 years, with a 2:2 male:female ratio. The mechanism of injury is as follows: fall from a height with elbow hyperextension and wrist dorsiflexion and pronation of the forearm. Objective: to present the case of a child with a type V left open floating elbow injury, severe soft tissue injury and median and radial nerve injury. Clinical case: A 12-year-old male weighing 70 kg and a height of 170 cm fell from a height of around 50 cm while riding on a skateboard and sustained a type V floating elbow injury. He was managed with a double antibiotic regimen, decontaminating wound care and fracture stabilization with a minimally invasive approach, using crossed Kirschner nails in the elbow, and centromedullary and retrograde nails in the radius and ulna. He underwent early rehabilitation. The patient resumed his usual activities at month 3 and was assessed using the DASH scale. The nerve injury was classified as neurapraxia. Results: the skin healed at ten days. Passive motion of the elbow and wrist was started at week 2. Bone healing of the radio-ulna occurred at 35 days and of the humerus at 30 days. The nerve injury evolved properly without leaving any sensory or motor sequelae. According to the DASH Scale, the functional course was appropriate; the patient resumed his usual activities at month 3. No infection or compartmental syndrome occurred. Conclusions: the early and thorough washing of these injuries is an important factor to decrease the risk of infection. The minimally invasive approach is perfect to treat these injuries in children; it is less aggressive and preserves the integrity of soft tissues. Early rehabilitation and the prompt management of the nerve injury are fundamental to the functional result. The DASH Scale identifies the functional course, is easy to use and convenient for the patient.

Key words: elbow, fracture, injury, neuropathy.