Unusual pattern of Essex-Lopresti injury with negative plain radiographs of the wrist: a case report and literature review.

Juan Rodriguez-Martin, Juan Pretell-Mazzini, Carlos Vidal-Bujanda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Essex-Lopresti injury consists of a fracture of the radial head, rupture of the interosseous membrane and disruption of the distal radioulnar joint. The greatest challenge with this injury pattern is the diagnosis, because it is frequently missed and the attention usually focused on the elbow joint. In this paper we report an unusual pattern of Essex-Lopresti injury with a radial neck fracture, a tear of the interosseous membrane and a disruption of the distal radioulnar joint in which initial wrist radiographs did not show significative abnormalities. Open reduction and internal fixation for the radial head fracture was performed. Forearm rotation was locked with two Kirschner wires from ulna to radius to allow interosseous membrane to heal. This case is even more difficult to diagnose than classic Essex-Lopresti pattern because of the absence of radius shortening, due to this specific radius fracture pattern, and also the absence of distal radioulnar joint dislocation. When treating a radial head fracture but also a radial neck fracture, interosseous membrane injury should be suspected to avoid misleading in diagnosis.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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