What are the methods used for reduction of a radial head subluxation?

Updated: Apr 08, 2020
  • Author: Gretchen S Lent, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Radial head subluxation is managed by means of manual reduction. Either of the following two reduction methods may be used:

  • Supination-flexion technique
  • Hyperpronation/forced pronation technique

If one technique fails initially, the other may be attempted.

A 2012 Cochrane review evaluated the literature available for comparison of the two techniques. [17] The reviewers found only four trials, with a total of 379 participants; overall, the methodologic quality was low. Limited evidence from these trials suggested that the hyperpronation method was more effective and less painful.

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