Comminuted olecranon fractures: locking compression plate fixation verses conventional plate fixation

Neetin P. Mahajan, Mrugank A. Narvekar, Lalkar L. Gadod, G. S. Prasanna Kumar


Background: A variable consensus exists on the optimal management strategies for olecranon fractures. Though the mechanical properties of the conventional plates and the locking plates used show no difference, pre-contoured locking plates provide a significant advantage over non-locking plates in unstable fractures. The aim of the study was to compare clinical and radiological outcomes in the management of the comminute olecranon fractures by anatomically pre-contoured locking compression plates and the conventional plates.

Methods: The present study was a prospective study of 50 patients with comminuted olecranon fracture, with 25 patients each randomized into two groups, those that underwent fixation of the fracture using a pre-contoured locking compression plate (group LCP) and those fixed using a conventional plate (3.5 mm reconstruction plate) (group CP). Patients were followed up to 1 year with functional outcome assessed at each follow-up with Mayo elbow performance score.

Results: The mean MEPS (LCP vs CP) at 1.5 (47 vs. 43.4) and 3 (67.4 vs 61.6) months follow up showed a statistically significant difference between the two groups, but the difference was not significant at 6 (86.4 vs 85.6) and 12 (88.4 vs 87) months. The time to union (4.3 months vs 5.0 months) was not significantly different between the groups. There were 11 complications in group LCP and 12 complications in group CP.

Conclusions: In the present study, we suggest that the use of a pre-contoured locking compression plate provides better outcomes at earlier periods as compared to the conventional plate; thus, returning the patient to normal function at the earliest.


Olecranon fracture, Locking compression plate, Conventional plate

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