Current concepts in elbow fracture dislocation

Adam C. Watts, Jagwant Singh*, Michael Elvey, Zaid Hamoodi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Elbow fracture dislocations are complex injuries that can provide a challenge for experienced surgeons. Current classifications fail to provide a comprehensive system that encompasses all of the elements and patterns seen in elbow fracture dislocations. Methods: The commonly used elbow fracture dislocation classifications are reviewed and the three-column concept of elbow fracture dislocation is described. This concept is applied to the currently recognised injury patterns and the literature on management algorithms. Results: Current elbow fracture dislocation classification systems only describe one element of the injury, or only include one pattern of elbow fracture dislocation. A new comprehensive classification system based on the three-column concept of elbow fracture dislocation is presented with a suggested algorithm for managing each injury pattern. Discussion: The three-column concept may improve understanding of injury patterns and treatment and leads to a comprehensive classification of elbow fracture dislocations with algorithms to guide treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-458
Number of pages8
JournalShoulder and Elbow
Issue number4
Early online date13 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2021


  • Elbow fracture dislocation
  • elbow instability
  • management


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