Despite advances in surgical techniques, fractures of the radial head are challenging to manage. Most radial head fractures can be managed nonsurgically, with emphasis on early motion to achieve good results. Treatment of more complex radial head fractures, however, especially those associated with elbow instability, remains controversial. The choice for such injury is between open reduction and internal fixation and arthroplasty. Modern implants and techniques have led to improvements in both of these technically demanding procedures. With proper care and understanding of the mechanism of elbow function, better long-term results can be achieved. The current literature suggests that the Mason classification guides choice of the best treatment modality to achieve optimal long-term function. Fracture complexity also should be used as a guide when selecting treatment, and proper surgical technique is critical for success.





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