Essex-Lopresti described a rare fracture-dislocation complex involving the entire length of the forearm.


Mechanism: forceful fall onto an outstretched hand with axial compression (causing fracture) and rotation of the forearm (causing sprain or rupture of ligaments)



(1) fracture of the radial head

(2) partial or complete disruption of the radioulnar interosseous membrane

(3) instability of the distal radio-ulnar joint (DRUJ), with dorsal subluxation of the distal ulna


Treatment requires open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of the radial head and pinning of the DRUJ, followed by casting for 6 weeks. The outcome may be poor and rehabilitation difficult.


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