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VOLUME 3 , ISSUE 2 ( September, 2008 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

The incidence of associated fractures of the upper limb in fractures of the radial head

Laurens Kaas, Roger P. van Riet, Jos P. A. M. Vroemen, Denise Eygendaal

Keywords : Radial head fracture, Associated injury, Epidemiology

Citation Information : Kaas L, van Riet RP, Vroemen JP, Eygendaal D. The incidence of associated fractures of the upper limb in fractures of the radial head. 2008; 3 (2):71-74.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-008-0038-8

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-09-2008

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2008; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Radial head fractures are common injuries. In American publications, one-third of the patients with these fractures have been shown to have associated injuries. The aim of this retrospective study is to describe the epidemiology of radial head fractures and associated fractures of the ipsilateral upper extremity in a European population. This study describes the epidemiology of radial head and associated fractures of the upper extremity in a Dutch population by a retrospective radiographic review of all patients with a radial head fracture between 1 January 2006 and 1 July 2007. A total of 147 radial head fractures were diagnosed in 145 patients. The incidence in the general population was 2.5 per 10.000 per year. The average age was 45.9 (SD 17.3) years and male–female ratio was 2:3. The mean age of males was significantly lower (37.1, SD 14.2 years) than of women (53.9, SD 16.4 years). Associated fracture of the upper extremity was found in 10.2%. Coronoid fractures were most common (4.1%). Associated upper limb fractures in patients with a radial head fracture are common in the European population. It is of clinical importance to suspect associated lesions and to perform a thorough physical examination and additional radiological examination on demand.

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