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November 5, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(19):1568-1573. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690190006002

Fractures about the elbow are almost always the cause of serious concern. Ample testimony to the truth of this fact can be given by most practitioners of medicine or surgery who have had much experience, as these fractures have led to disaster both to the patient and to the physician. An elbow which has wholly or partly lost its motion, a deformed elbow, paralysis or partial paralysis of the forearm and hand, Volkmann's contracture, and myositis ossificans are not infrequently the results of fracture at the elbow. Such unfortunate experiences lead to loss of elbow function for the patient and loss of reputation for the physician, and often are complicated but not settled by suits for alleged malpractice.

The reasons for disaster following elbow fracture are simply stated. Unfortunately, they are not remembered as vividly as they should be in many instances. The reasons for disaster are anatomic. The elbow