Posttraumatic Elbow Contracture

Gregory Rafijah


Curr Orthop Pract. 2014;25(3):213-216. 

In This Article

Postoperative Management

At the conclusion of the procedure for elbow contracture release, a suction drain should be placed to prevent fluid accumulation or hematoma. A bulky, compressive dressing should be applied that will allow early motion exercises if possible. Ice or cold therapy can help control swelling and edema by reducing inflammation. Continuous passive motion (CPM) may be prescribed for postoperative application. The use of continuous passive motion is controversial, but may help initiate motion and help control edema. However, excessive use may result in swelling and even result in motion loss. The CPM is not good at maximizing end range motion, and supervised therapy or corrective bracing should be used in addition to CPM to maintain endrange mobility.[26,27] Currently, we only use CPM in the inpatient setting to initiate the motion protocol while under regional anesthesia and do not prescribe CPM for home use.