International Orthopaedics

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 157–164 | Cite as

Management of chronic neglected lateral condyle elbow non-union in adults: functional results of a cohort study and a proposed treatment algorithm

  • Mao Qi Gong
  • Xiao Wen Huang
  • Cheng Wang
  • Ye Jun Zha
  • Ying Li
  • Li Dan Zhang
  • Xie Yuan JiangEmail author
  • Man Yi Wang
Original Paper



To evaluate surgical treatment of symptomatic non-union of lateral condylar elbow fractures in adults.


In this retrospective cohort study, 11 consecutive adult patients were surgically treated for symptomatic non-union of the lateral humeral condyle. Milch type I fracture non-unions (n = 3) were treated with medial closing wedge osteotomy and ulnar nerve transposition, while type II equivalents (n = 8) were treated with non-union fixation and bone grafting. Age at injury, age at referral, pre-operative symptoms, and pre-operative functional data (Modified An and Morrey functional rating index) were collected.


Eleven patients (average age 20 years old) with varying symptoms attributable to non-union were surgically treated at a mean of 15.8 years following the initial fracture. Post-operative complications included one superficial infection and 17one radial nerve temporary neuropraxia. Pain, ulnar neuritis, and functional outcomes (Modified An and Morrey, mean 7.1 point improvement) improved significantly. However, the combined range of motion decreased by a mean of 11.4°.


Our treatment algorithm for adults with chronic neglected and symptomatic non-union of the lateral humeral condyle improved functional outcomes in this cohort.


Adults Non-union lateral humeral condyle Open reduction Osteotomy Ulnar nerve transposition 



We would like to acknowledge the work of all our staff, especially our mentor Pro. Xieyuan Jiang.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study, The IRB number is Beijing Jishuitan Hospital 201605–02. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mao Qi Gong
    • 1
  • Xiao Wen Huang
    • 2
  • Cheng Wang
    • 1
  • Ye Jun Zha
    • 1
  • Ying Li
    • 1
  • Li Dan Zhang
    • 1
  • Xie Yuan Jiang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Man Yi Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic TraumaBeijing Jishuitan HospitalBeijingChina
  2. 2.Medical CenterTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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