Ligaments injuries check-up and assessment of their healing potential in simple posterolateral elbow dislocation: about 25 cases

  • Eric AbehseraEmail author
  • Elvire Guerre
  • Pauline Duriez
  • Mazen El Rafei
  • Christian Fontaine
  • Christophe Chantelot
Original Article • ELBOW - TRAUMA



Elbow dislocation can lead to instability and stiffness of the elbow. The main goal of this study was to list the initial elbow ligaments injuries caused by simple posterolateral elbow dislocations. The secondary goals were to assess ligament healing 2 months after the initial dislocation, to research a correlation between ligaments injuries and clinical course, and to search for predictive factors of instability.

Patients and methods

Patients who had simple posterolateral elbow dislocation for the first time between January 2015 and May 2016 were included. Each patient had an MRI scan of their traumatised elbow on the day of the dislocation and then again 2 months later. The assessment was performed thanks to a clinical examination and calculation of functional recovery scores. The Mann–Whitney U test was used to research a correlation between the healing of ligaments injuries and clinical course.


Twenty-five patients were included in the study. The initial MRI scans showed 70% and 54% ligament rupture, respectively, for the anterior band (ant MCL) and the posterior band (post MCL) of the medial collateral ligament (MCL), as well as 79% for the ulnar (ULCL) and 50% for the radial (RLCL) lateral collateral ligaments. The healing rate 2 months after dislocation was fairly low from 18% for the ULCL up to 41% for the anterior band of the MCL. No correlation was found between the ligament healing noticeable on MRI scans and clinical course. No elbow instability was diagnosed during the 4-month follow-up.


Elbow dislocation is particularly damaging for ligaments. There is no predominance on medial or lateral ligament for rupture. The low healing rate 2 months after the initial dislocation could be explained by performing a follow-up MRI scan too early.


Elbow Dislocation Ligaments Instability 



We thank Dr Antonin Lereuil for his help in the translation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict 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 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Service de Chirurgie Orthopédique et TraumatologiqueCHRU de LilleLilleFrance
  2. 2.Service d’Orthopédie B, Chirurgie de la Main et Membre SupérieurCHRU de LilleLilleFrance
  3. 3.Service d’Imagerie de l’Appareil LocomoteurCHRU de LilleLilleFrance

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