Radial Head Fracture Surgery


Radial Head Fracture Surgery aims to repair displaced and fractured fragments of the radial head.

What is it?

The radius is one of the bones located in the forearm.  The radial head is the part closest to the elbow joint.  A fracture in this section of the bone is often caused by a fall and landing on an outstretched arm.  A radial head fracture is often familiar with dislocation of the elbow.  Surgery is performed to set the elbow and any bone fragments back into place.  If the fracture is severe, the surgery may help to remove bone fragments that cannot be put back into place and repair any ligaments or tendons.

What should I do to prepare?

Preparing for any surgery can be stressful.  It is best to understand and talk with your doctor about what will happen during the surgery and what to expect after it is complete.  Having a family member or close friend with you the day of surgery can help alleviate some stress.  Scans and preoperative testing will be conducted to determine the best approach to fix and stabilize the fractured radial head.  A patient should not eat or drink after the midnight before surgery.  Rest and immobilization may be necessary post-surgery to help in the healing process.  This may require time off from work and other physical activities.

What happens during the process?

A doctor can decide on which option to use to fix a broken radial head.  A patient will be given general anesthesia for the procedure.  The primary goals of these methods are to set the elbow back into place, remove any damaged bone fragments, and repair torn or frayed ligaments.  The surgeon might use plates and screws to help stabilize the fracture and bone fragments that were put back in place.  Once finished, the surgeon will close up the wound with stitches or staples, and the patient will be sent to recovery.

What are the risks and possible complications?

Any surgery involving bones, muscles, or tendons will pose a risk for re-injury or injury to another part of the surrounding area.   Infections, bleeding, and numbness or tingling are possible with this surgery.   There is also the chance that there will be damage to blood vessels and nerves within the elbow.


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