Winterswijk, Netherlands
Winterswijk, Netherlands

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Schep N.W.L.,Rotterdam University | De Haan J.,Westfriesgasthuis | Iordens G.I.T.,Rotterdam University | Tuinebreijer W.E.,Rotterdam University | And 16 more authors.
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders | Year: 2011

Background: Elbow dislocations can be classified as simple or complex. Simple dislocations are characterized by the absence of fractures, while complex dislocations are associated with fractures of the radial head, olecranon, or coronoid process. The majority of patients with these complex dislocations are treated with open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF), or arthroplasty in case of a non-reconstructable radial head fracture. If the elbow joint remains unstable after fracture fixation, a hinged elbow fixator can be applied. The fixator provides stability to the elbow joint, and allows for early mobilization. The latter may be important for preventing stiffness of the joint. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of early mobilization with a hinged external elbow fixator on clinical outcome in patients with complex elbow dislocations with residual instability following fracture fixation. Methods/Design. The design of the study will be a multicenter prospective cohort study of 30 patients who have sustained a complex elbow dislocation and are treated with a hinged elbow fixator following fracture fixation because of residual instability. Early active motion exercises within the limits of pain will be started immediately after surgery under supervision of a physical therapist. Outcome will be evaluated at regular intervals over the subsequent 12 months. The primary outcome is the Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score. The secondary outcome measures are the Mayo Elbow Performance Index, Oxford Elbow Score, pain level at both sides, range of motion of the elbow joint at both sides, radiographic healing of the fractures and formation of periarticular ossifications, rate of secondary interventions and complications, and health-related quality of life (Short-Form 36). Discussion. The outcome of this study will yield quantitative data on the functional outcome in patients with a complex elbow dislocation and who are treated with ORIF and additional stabilization with a hinged elbow fixator. Trial Registration. The trial is registered at the Netherlands Trial Register (NTR1996). © 2011 Schep et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


De Haan J.,Westfriesgasthuis | Den Hartog D.,Rotterdam University | Tuinebreijer W.E.,Rotterdam University | Iordens G.I.T.,Rotterdam University | And 27 more authors.
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders | Year: 2010

Background. Elbow dislocations can be classified as simple or complex. Simple dislocations are characterized by the absence of fractures, while complex dislocations are associated with fractures. After reduction of a simple dislocation, treatment options include immobilization in a static plaster for different periods of time or so-called functional treatment. Functional treatment is characterized by early active motion within the limits of pain with or without the use of a sling or hinged brace. Theoretically, functional treatment should prevent stiffness without introducing increased joint instability. The primary aim of this randomized controlled trial is to compare early functional treatment versus plaster immobilization following simple dislocations of the elbow. Methods/Design. The design of the study will be a multicenter randomized controlled trial of 100 patients who have sustained a simple elbow dislocation. After reduction of the dislocation, patients are randomized between a pressure bandage for 5-7 days and early functional treatment or a plaster in 90 degrees flexion, neutral position for pro-supination for a period of three weeks. In the functional group, treatment is started with early active motion within the limits of pain. Function, pain, and radiographic recovery will be evaluated at regular intervals over the subsequent 12 months. The primary outcome measure is the Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score. The secondary outcome measures are the Mayo Elbow Performance Index, Oxford elbow score, pain level at both sides, range of motion of the elbow joint at both sides, rate of secondary interventions and complication rates in both groups (secondary dislocation, instability, relaxation), health-related quality of life (Short-Form 36 and EuroQol-5D), radiographic appearance of the elbow joint (degenerative changes and heterotopic ossifications), costs, and cost-effectiveness. Discussion. The successful completion of this trial will provide evidence on the effectiveness of a functional treatment for the management of simple elbow dislocations. Trial Registration. The trial is registered at the Netherlands Trial Register (NTR2025). © 2010 de Haan et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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