Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Elbow luxation in a patient with congenital dislocation of the radial head
  1. Nicole J van Groningen1,
  2. Saskia Bontemps1 and
  3. Ben G Schmidt2
  1. 1Emergency Department, Franciscus Gasthuis, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Trauma Surgery, Franciscus Gasthuis en Vlietland, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nicole J van Groningen; vangroningenn{at}


Elbow dislocations are commonly seen and can occur after trauma or be congenital. The literature on congenital dislocations is scarce. No cases of an additional luxation of a pre-existing congenital radial head dislocation with a traumatic ulnohumeral dislocation have been described. This case involves a young man with no prior history who presented after trauma of the right elbow. He presented with pain, and his radial head was palpable behind the olecranon, and on imaging it appeared to be more proximal. After additional imaging, the dislocation of the radial head turned out to be congenital combined with an additional luxation of the ulna. This finding influenced our diagnostic approach and reposition method, which, instead of only traction–countertraction, also included pronation and supination.

This case highlights the clinical importance of identifying and recognising a patient with a congenital dislocation of the radial head and an additional luxation of the elbow.

  • Elbow instability
  • Emergency medicine
  • Trauma
  • Orthopaedics

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors NvG and SB are responsible for the design of the study. NvG made the requirements to collect the data needed for the case report, while the analysis and/or interpretation of data was done by both NvG and BGS. The draft of the case report was made by NvG and revised by SB. All authors approved the version of the manuscript to be published.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.