The Fractures of the Olecranon

  • Julie E. Adams
  • Scott P. Steinmann


The subcutaneous location of the olecranon makes it vulnerable to trauma [1]. Isolated fractures of the olecranon comprise approximately 10% of fractures about the elbow [2, 3], with an estimated incidence of 1.08 per 10,000 person-years [3]. Most result from low energy trauma such as a fall from a height of less than 2 m, a direct blow to the elbow, or from forced hyperextension [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. A fall on a partially flexed elbow may generate an avulsion fracture of the olecranon from the pull of the triceps [1]. Amis et al. [7] investigated variable impact mechanisms and the resultant fracture patterns in a cadaveric model. A trend was noted in which radial head and coronoid fractures tended to occur with forearm impacts with the elbow in up to 8o° of flexion [7]. Olecranon fractures occurred with direct blows at 90° of flexion, while injuries occurring with the elbow in > 110° of flexion tended to result in distal humerus fractures [7].


Radial Head Hardware Removal Tension Band Wiring Olecranon Fracture Proximal Ulna 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie E. Adams
    • 1
  • Scott P. Steinmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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