Posttraumatic Elbow Contracture

Gregory Rafijah


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

In This Article


Valuable historical information includes the timing and nature of the traumatic event, prior surgical procedures, a history of drainage, erythema or recent antibiotic therapy. Previous incisions should be documented and used for preoperative planning. Accurate documentation of elbow motion and function should be recorded with photography or videography if possible.

Imaging with radiographs, including anteroposterior, lateral, and oblique views are essential. CT can be helpful, especially with reconstructions that identify heterotopic ossification, loose bodies, and determine the status of bone healing. Laboratories should include markers for inflammation and infection.