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Radial head fracture

Among all the fractures of the elbow, the radial head appears involved in 20% of the cases. This type of fracture is generally caused by indirect traumas, because of the fall on the upper limb with hyperextended hand and extended elbow.

Acute pain can lead to a limitation of motion and strength.

In addition to a standard radiography, in some cases oblique projections can be useful for the best view of the radial head. MRI is the most sensitive test for diagnosis.

The compound fractures are treated with a rigid brace for about 10 days. The beginning of the rehabilitation treatment, with a cautious but premature mobilization, is essential in order to avoid the risk, which very often occurs, of rigidity.

Displaced fractures are often non-operatively treated with a splint for two weeks followed by mobilization only in flexion-extension. Then, after an x-ray inspection, the process of rehabilitation is taken to an end. The results are positive in 70% of the case.

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