Elbow dislocations and instability

David Clint Flanigan, Lee D. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: To review recent articles on elbow dislocations and instability and the trends in basic science and clinical research. Recent findings: The stability of the lateral aspect of the elbow continues to be defined biomechanically. The lateral collateral ligament complex may have a more complex anatomy and function than previously thought. The importance of the radial head and coronoid in elbow stability has been shown both in biomechanical testing and outcome studies of complex fracture dislocations. A hinged external fixator can be used in unstable elbows or chronic dislocations with good results. Posterolateral rotatory instability reconstruction continues to provide good functional outcome and prevention of instability in appropriate patients. Elbow dislocations are common in athletes and hold further challenges in accelerating their recovery and return to play criteria. Summary: Our understanding of the anatomy and function of the soft tissues, ligaments, bony stabilizers of the elbow continues to develop and directs our treatment strategies and expected outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-285
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Orthopaedics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Athletic elbow injuries
  • Elbow dislocations
  • Elbow fracture dislocations
  • Hinged external fixators
  • Posterolateral rotatory instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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