Intra-articular Entrapment of Medial Epicondyle Fracture Fragment in Elbow Joint Dislocation Causing Ulnar Neuropraxia: A Case Report
Traumatic elbow dislocations in children are rare but most of them are complex dislocations, and in such dislocations, medial humerus epicondyle fractureis the most common associated injury. Fracture incarceration in the elbow joint occurs in 5-18% of medial humerus epicondyle fractures but ulnar neuropraxia is very rare. Open reduction internal fixation is indicated in medial humerus epicondyle fracture with fracture incarceration, ulnar neuropraxia, marked instability or open fracture. Operative treatment options include fragment excision and sutures, closed or open reduction and Kirschner wire fixation, open reduction and suture fixation, open reduction and smooth pin fixation, and open reduction and screw fixation. However, ulnar nerve transposition is debatable as good outcome had been reported with and without nerve transposition. We report a case of a 13-year old boy, who presented with right elbow dislocation and intra-articular entrapment of medial humerus epicondyle fracture fragment, complicated with sensory ulnar neuropraxia, following a fall onto his right outstretched hand in a motor vehicle accident. The elbow joint was reduced using close manipulative reduction but the fracture fragment remained entrapped post-reduction. The patient then underwent open reduction and screw fixation of the medial humerus epicondyle fracture without ulnar nerve transposition. He had good functional outcome six weeks after surgical intervention, with complete recovery of ulnar neuropraxia six months later. Currently, he is doing well at school and is active with his sporting activity.
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