What is included in the evaluation of radial head subluxation?

Updated: Apr 08, 2020
  • Author: Gretchen S Lent, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

A diagnosis other than radial head subluxation should be sought if the history includes trauma to the arm, swelling, significant tenderness, deformity, or ecchymosis to the patient’s elbow (see the image below).

Alternative diagnoses to radial head subluxation s Alternative diagnoses to radial head subluxation should be sought if point tenderness or any obvious deformity is present.

Furthermore, older children and adults should undergo radiography to evaluate for fracture. In particular, an associated ulnar fracture known as the Monteggia fracture-dislocation should be considered in these older individuals. This injury is diagnosed by means of plain radiography and must be treated with surgical reduction.

Patients with known congenital lesions or neurologic deficits require a more detailed evaluation.


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