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Technique Using Isoelastic Tension Band for Treatment of Olecranon Fractures

December 16, 2015

The particular property profile of the isoelastic tension band gives the cable intrinsic elastic and pliable qualities. In addition, unlike stainless steel, the band maintains a uniform, continuous compression force across a fracture site.
The pliability of the band allows the surgeon to create multiple loops of cable without the wire failure side effects related to kinking, which is common with the metal construct.

The isoelastic ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene tension band may be considered an alternative to stainless steel wire for tension band fixation of olecranon fractures.

In this article, we present our technique using this isoelastic tension band and describe the outcomes of 7 patients who underwent open reduction and internal fixation of closed, displaced olecranon fractures with minimal or no articular surface comminution. We reviewed medical records and performed physical examinations and functional assessments.

Anatomical reduction was maintained in all elbows through union. Physical examination measurements indicated nominal side-to-side differences in motion and strength. Mean Broberg and Morrey elbow score was good (92/100), and mean (SD) Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score was 12.6 (17.2). One patient had a minor degree of hardware irritation at longest follow-up but did not request hardware removal. One patient underwent implant removal for a symptomatic implant 5 years after surgery.

This easily reproducible technique yields excellent physical and functional outcomes.

Click here to view complete article and view a video demonstrating the technique.

Click here to view the article pdf.

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