Distal humeral epiphyseal separations are rare and treatment strategies are not well defined. The case of a full-term male newborn with a distal humeral epiphyseal separation as the result of a birth trauma was reviewed. A literature review of this topic was undertaken to better understand its occurrence diagnosis and treatment options. The patient sustained a distal humeral epiphyseal separation during a vaginal delivery. Deformity and decreased movement in the elbow were observed. Radiographs and subsequent ultrasound were used to make the diagnosis of distal humeral epiphyseal separation. Given the displaced and acute nature of the fracture a closed reduction and percutaneous pinning was performed. Intraoperatively this was greatly facilitated by an elbow arthrogram. Immobilization consisted of a posterior plaster splint and swathe. Postoperative follow-up with clinical and radiographic examination showed abundant bony healing and early restoration of function. Ultrasound is useful to confirm the diagnosis of a distal humeral epiphyseal separation for elbow injuries in very young patients. However once the diagnosis is confirmed an intraoperative elbow arthrogram helps highlight the fracture fragments and ensures proper reduction and fixation of the fracture.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine