fracture (bicondylar)

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 more open access pages.

A bicondylar fracture of the elbow results from a fall on the point of the elbow and the olecranon process being driven upwards and splitting the condyles apart, resulting in considerable swelling with the arm held immobile.

Radiology of the fracture reveals the fracture extending from the lower humerus into the elbow joint. The fracture may T-shaped, Y-shaped or comminuted.

This injury may be treated by operation and internal fixation, or allowing to heal without fixation of the bony fragments and concentrating on mobility (as soon as pain permits active movements are encouraged and this may mould the fragments into a reasonable position).

Whatever the form of treatment used, there is likely to be residual stiffness of the elbow joint.

Last reviewed 01/2018