UMEM Educational Pearls


44 year-old construction worker fell off a ladder and presents with elbow pain. What's the diagnosis and what is the most commonly associated nerve injury? 



Olecranon fracture; the ulnar nerve is most commonly injured

Pearls for Olecranon Fracture

  • Typically occurs secondary to direct blow or fall on an outstretched hand
  • Patients present with a complaint of pain along the olecranon with an inability to extend the elbow
  • Ulnar nerve injury is common.
  • Non-displaced fractures are typically managed conservatively with placement in a long-arm posterior splint; elbow must be placed in flexion of 70° and forearm is neutral
  • Other types of olecranon injuries require surgical repair 


Follow me on Twitter (@criticalcarenow) or Google+ (+criticalcarenow)