Peri-implant olecranon tip fracture: Complication of olecranon osteotomy plating

Anna Hochner-Ger, Haggai Schermann*, Daniel Tordjman, Franck Atlan, Tamir Pritsch, Yishai Rosenblatt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Several anatomic plates for fixation of the olecranon after a fracture or an osteotomy are commercially available. They serve as an alternative for tension band wiring, which is associated with a relatively high complication rate. Plating of the olecranon reportedly might result in nonunion or malunion and eventually may require revision surgery or plate removal because of skin irritation. The authors describe a proximal periprosthetic avulsion fracture of the tip of the olecranon as a unique complication associated with the use of an anatomic plate for fixation of an olecranon osteotomy. This retrospective case series included 35 patients with comminuted distal humerus fractures treated by open reduction and internal fixation through an olecranon osteotomy with an anatomic olecranon plate. Of the 35 patients, 6 (17.1%) had postoperative olecranon tip fracture, just proximal to the osteotomy site. In all cases, the fracture line coursed through the proximal cluster of screws situated on the proximal part of the plate. Avulsion fractures of the tip of the olecranon after plating of the olecranon osteotomy could have occurred as a result of biomechanical factors. The short design of the proximal part of the plate and the high screw density in the proximal part of the olecranon could lead to increased mechanical stress during contraction of the triceps. This complication should prompt further biomechanical evaluation of the plate design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-587
Number of pages5
JournalOrthopedics
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

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