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Shoulder and Elbow - Complex Elbow Fractures

Subspecialty Theme of the Month, June 2011

With an aging population, patients with elbow fractures are presenting to our emergency departments and clinics more frequently. Injuries around the elbow can be difficult to manage. Surgical fixation is often technically challenging with relatively high complications rates; good to excellent outcomes are not easy to achieve.

June's Subspecialty Theme of the Month articles, reprinted from the Summer 2010 issue of the COA Bulletin, focus on periarticular fractures of the elbow. Surgeons with expertise in the elbow have outlined the important aspects and provided up-to-date recommendations on fracture evaluation, preoperative planning and surgical management. Hopefully this review will contribute to your knowledge of elbow fractures and assist you with the management of these complex injuries.

J Whitcomb Pollock, MD, MSc, FRCSC
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada