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Nonsurgical treatment of Mason type II radial head fractures in athletes. A retrospective study

Original Article, 200 - 205
doi: 10.11138/gchir/2016.37.5.200
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Objective. The best treatment for moderately displaced radial head fractures (Mason type II) still remains controversial. In cases of isolated fractures, there is no evidence that a fragment displacement of ≥ 2 mm gives poor results in conservatively treated fractures.
Patients and methods. We retrospectively reviewed 52 patients (31M, 21F) affected by an isolated Mason type II fracture, treated with a long arm cast for two weeks between 2008 and 2013. All patients had practiced sports before being injured. They were all either bicyclists, or baseball, boxers, basketball, rugby, tennis or football players. The mean follow-up was 36 months. Elbow and forearm range of motion were measured. The Mayo Elbow Performance Score, the Broberg and Morrey rating system and the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand Score (DASH score) were analyzed. Follow-up radiographs were examined for evidence of consolidation, late displacement, early arthritis and non-unions.
Results. Flexion was slightly impaired in the injured limb when compared to the uninjured limb (137°± 6° versus 139°±5°) as were extension (–3°±6° versus 1°±4°, p < 0.05), supination (86°±6° versus 88°±3°), pronation (87°±4° versus 88°±6°) and valgus deviation
(10°±4° versus 8°±3°, p < 0.05). 40 patients had no elbow complaints; 9 patients experienced occasional pain, 2 a mild instability of the elbow, and 4 a mild loss of grip strength. The DASH score was excellent in 48 patients (92.31%). In only 6 cases (11.53%) degenerative changes were greater in formerly injured elbows than in uninjured elbows. All patients returned to their previous sports activities.
Conclusions. Isolated Mason type II fractures can have a good or excellent mid-term functional outcome even when treated conservatively.

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