Posterolateral rotatory instability is the most frequent form of elbow instability. This clinical entity, described by O’Driscoll et al. in 1991, concerns young subjects following elbow trauma. Diagnosis is founded on symptomatology and positive posterolateral rotatory instability test. Treatment is based on reconstruction of the ulnar bundle of the lateral collateral ligament. The present study assessed medium-term clinical and radiological results in lateral ligamentoplasty for posterolateral elbow instability.
Materials and methods
A retrospective continuous single-center series included 19 cases: 11 male, 8 female, operated on between 1995 and 2010; mean age was 37.8 years (range, 20–63 years). Surgery consisted in lateral ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction by autologous palmaris longus tendon graft following Nestor et al. (1992).
Eighteen patients were assessed at a mean 61 months’ follow-up. Mean time off work was 3.2 months (range, 2–7 months); all patients returned to work. No revision surgery was required. Mean range of motion in flexion, extension, pronation and supination was respectively 135°, 8°, 84° and 76°. Instability test was systematically negative at follow-up. Mean Mayo Clinic and Quick-DASH scores were respectively 90 (range, 60–100) and 21 (range, 0–63). All patients were satisfied or very satisfied with their result.
Lateral ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction by autologous palmaris longus tendon graft provided reliable and lasting results. We consider it to be the reference treatment for chronic instability, and sometimes in acute post-traumatic instability.
Level of evidence
IV.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Posterolateral rotatory instability of the elbow, Recurrent dislocation of the elbow, Lateral ulnar collateral ligament, Lateral collateral ligament reconstruction, Palmaris longus