CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Revista Chilena de Ortopedia y Traumatología 2022; 63(02): e123-e127
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1748027
Reporte de Caso | Case Report

Complex Elbow Fracture-Dislocation with Distal Humerus Involvement: Clinical Case Report

Article in several languages: español | English
1   Escuela de Medicine, Facultad de Medicina y Ciencias, Universidad San Sebastián, Concepción, Chile
2   Laboratorio de Fisiología Vascular, Departamento de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad del Bío-Bío, Chillán, Chile
3   Grupo de Investigación e Innovación en Salud Vascular (GRIVAS Health), Chillán, Chile
4   Equipo de Cirugía de Hombro y Codo – Traumatología, Centro Clínico de Especialidades Quirúrgicas, Complejo Asistencial Dr. Víctor Ríos Ruiz, Los Ángeles, Chile
› Author Affiliations
Funding and Acknowledgements To the Fondecyt 1200250 (CEO) project.


It is known that the elbow is dislocated frequently, representing the first cause of dislocation in children and the second cause in adults. Regarding distal humerus fractures, they represent a third of all humerus fractures in the adult population. They generally occur in a bimodal distribution, affecting young men or elderly women. In the present article, we report a rare clinical case of a complicated left elbow dislocation due to a distal humerus fracture in a 64-year-old woman. The lesion includes a posterolateral dislocation of the left elbow complicated by a sagittal, multifragmentary, partial articular fracture (compromise of the condyle and external humeral trochlea) of the distal humerus which required three surgical interventions and rehabilitation therapy for six months and resulted in functional recovery of the stability of the elbow joint. The case herein reported is particular due to the individuality of the patient, with her comorbidities, the mechanism of production of the fracture-dislocation, the surgical approach, and the success of the established treatment. This therapeutic success must be confirmed in series of cases.

Level of Evidence Case report.

Publication History

Received: 11 December 2020

Accepted: 18 February 2022

Article published online:
03 October 2022

© 2022. Sociedad Chilena de Ortopedia y Traumatologia. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commecial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

Thieme Revinter Publicações Ltda.
Rua do Matoso 170, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, CEP 20270-135, Brazil

  • Referencias

  • 1 Layson J, Best BJ. Elbow Dislocation. [Updated 2021 Aug 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021. Jan-. Available from:
  • 2 Schep NWL, De Haan J, Iordens GIT. et al. A hinged external fixator for complex elbow dislocations: a multicenter prospective cohort study. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2011; 9 (12) 130
  • 3 Stoneback JW, Owens BD, Sykes J, Athwal GS, Pointer L, Wolf JM. Incidence of elbow dislocations in the United States population. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2012; 94 (03) 240-245
  • 4 Amir S, Jannis S, Daniel R. Distal humerus fractures: a review of current therapy concepts. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med 2016; 9 (02) 199-206
  • 5 Egol KA, Walsh M, Romo-Cardoso S, Dorsky S, Paksima N. Distal radial fractures in the elderly: operative compared with nonoperative treatment. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2010; 92 (09) 1851-1857
  • 6 Milch H. Fractures and fracture dislocations of the humeral condyles. J Trauma 1964; 4 (05) 592-607
  • 7 Bryan RS, Morrey BF. Fractures of the distal humerus. En: Morrey BF. (Ed). The Elbow and its Disorders. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 1985: 302-39
  • 8 Moreno Lozano F. Fractura-luxación compleja de codo. Rev S And Traum y Ort. 2007; 24-25: 61-64
  • 9 Robinson CM, Hill RMF, Jacobs N, Dall G, Court-Brown CM. Adult distal humeral metaphyseal fractures: epidemiology and results of treatment. J Orthop Trauma 2003; 17 (01) 38-47
  • 10 O'Driscoll SW, Jupiter JB, King GJ, Hotchkiss RN, Morrey BF. The unstable elbow. Instr Course Lect 2001; 50: 89-102
  • 11 Wyrick JD, Dailey SK, Gunzenhaeuser JM, Casstevens EC. Management of complex elbow dislocations: a mechanistic approach. J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2015; 23 (05) 297-306
  • 12 García Portabella M, Pedemonte Jansana J, Massons Albareda J, Mir Bulló J. Inestabilidad compleja aguda de codo: etiopatogenia, diagnóstico y estrategia quirúrgica razonada. Rev Esp Cir Ortop Traumatol 2010; 54 (01) 77-85