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November 12, 1887


JAMA. 1887;IX(20):625-626. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02400190017003

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The cure of fractures of the olecranon, as is well known, is almost always brought about by a fibrous callus, more or less long and resistant, which, in the greater number of cases, restricts the movements of the forearm to a markeddegree; and the functional result is often bad. The cause lies in the difficulty in making and maintaining complete coaptation of the bony fragments. The old surgeons, with the idea that anchylosis of the elbow generally takes place, placed the forearm in a position of semiflexion. In this position the separation of the fragments is considerable, and consolidation takes place only by means of a long and thin fibrous band. This method of treatment has now been abandoned for moderate or even complete extension. Anchylosis or articular stiffness does not depend, in fact, on the position given to the limb, but on prolonged inmobilization of the joint.

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