Perioperative Glucocorticoid Administration Improves Elbow Motion in Terrible Triad Injuries.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: Among patients who undergo surgical treatment of terrible triad elbow injuries (TTEI), we hypothesized that those who received perioperative glucocorticoid (GC) therapy would have improved postoperative pain and range of motion (ROM) and a similar complication rate compared with patients who did not receive GC therapy. METHODS: We retrospectively identified 26 patients who underwent surgical treatment of TTEI from 2009 to 2015. Thirteen patients received a single intraoperative dose of 10 mg intravenous dexamethasone followed with a 6-day oral methylprednisolone taper course (GC group), and 13 did not (control group). After surgery, patients were placed in an orthosis at 90° flexion with the forearm in pronation for 2 weeks, after which ROM was initiated. Patients were seen in clinic at 2, 6, 12, and 24 weeks after surgery, at which time numeric pain scale scores and ROM data were collected and any complications were noted. RESULTS: Compared with the control group, the GC group had a greater flexion-extension arc of motion at 24 weeks (132.5° vs 105.5°); significant differences were not found at earlier time points. Supination measurements were significantly greater for the GC group at every time point with a difference at final follow-up of 23.2° (61.0° vs. 84.2°). There were 5 complications in the control group (35.8%), 3 of which required additional surgery, and 3 complications in the GC group (23.1%), 1 of which required another surgery. No postoperative infections were found in either group. CONCLUSIONS: Perioperative glucocorticoid administration is associated with improved ROM after surgical treatment of TTEI. Flexion-extension, pronosupination arc of motion, and overall supination were significantly improved. Postoperative pain scores and complication rates were similar between GC and control groups. TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic IV.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Desai, MJ; Matson, AP; Ruch, DS; Leversedge, FJ; Aldridge, JM; Richard, MJ

Published Date

  • January 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 42 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 41 - 46

PubMed ID

  • 28052827

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1531-6564

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jhsa.2016.11.011


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States