Type I (Hannis - Steinthal) Capitellar Fracture: Case Report

  • VM Mutiso


Capitellar fractures of the elbow present with pain and swelling of the elbow following a fall on an outstretched arm and are rare injuries comprising 0.5-1% of all elbow fractures (1). This is a case report of an adult female who sustained this injury following a fall on her outstretched arm. CT scans revealed a Type I capitellar fracture of the right elbow. Open reduction and internal fixation was done with a functionally good result. Because of the cartilaginous nature of the capitellum humeri these injuries are easily missed on radiography. One must have a high index of suspicion especially when elbow movement is noticeably restricted. These injuries are discussed and the literature reviewed. Although controversial, treatment is mainly operative. One should carefully review radiographs of patients who present with injuries of the elbow with pain, swelling and markedly restricted joint range of motion and whose mechanism of injury(fall on an outstretched arm) is consistent with capitellar fracture. CT scans often clinch the diagnosis. Type I fractures may be treated conservatively but Type II injuries require operative intervention.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1994-1072
print ISSN: 1994-1072