The use of combined lateral and medial releases in the treatment of post-traumatic contracture of the elbow
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Elbow stiffness is a common disorder, which restricts daily activities. Between 30 degrees and 130 degrees of elbow movement is usually enough to perform most daily activities. However, a 10 degrees to 15 degrees loss of elbow extension may be a problem when the patient is an athlete. From 1996 to 2004, 20 elbows of 20 patients (who were available for follow-up examination) were treated by lateral and medial release at Kocaeli University, for post-traumatic elbow contracture. Preoperative and the postoperative 12-month follow-up measurements were performed. The mean preoperative arc of motion was 35 degrees and this value improved to 86.2 degrees. The maximum improvement at the arc of motion was 105 degrees. In an effort to understand the pathophysiology of the condition, surgical approaches may be used safely. The purpose of this study was to assess the functional outcome of the elbow joint after using a combination of lateral and medial approaches to treat elbow stiffness.