13/06/2006
AO Technical Commission Approved

Olecranon Plate

Treatment of olecranon fractures often requires complex and time consuming operations with the risk that an insufficient fixation leads to secondary loss of reduction, especially in osteoporotic fractures. This would be inevitable followed by functional deficits, pain and arthrosis.

The Olecranon Plate is part of the new elbow system, it has a precontoured anatomical fit and provides a high stability. Indications for this new plate are complex extra- and intraarticular olecranon fractures, especially with distal extension beyond the coronoid process, fractures of the proximal ulna, nonunions of the proximal ulna, and osteotomies.

The proximal part of the plate is slightly thinner than the shaft. Eight round locking holes allow for a choice of locking head screw placement. These screws have predetermined angulations that were adapted to the anatomy of the olecranon and the proximal ulna. The proximal tab can be removed with standard cutting instruments if not needed. The shaft portion of the plate has a long sliding hole to enable optimal positioning of the plate. The plate holes in the shaft portion are typically combination holes, allowing the application of both conventional and locking head screws. Since the bend of the proximal ulna can vary significantly, the longer plates especially require contouring of the plate in the horizontal plane. Recesses in the shaft (as in reconstruction plates) allow for this adaptation in the horizontal plane (maximal 4 per individual recess of the plate).

The Olecranon Plate is available in a right and left version. It comes in six lengths with 2-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, or 12-LCP combination holes in the shaft for 3.5 mm locking head screws. Alternately, 3.5 mm cortex screws or 4.0 mm cancellous bone screws can be used. The plate is available in stainless steel and titanium.

Specific aiming devices can be fixed to the plate by a snap-on mechanism. The other instrumentation is fully compatible with the LCP system 3.5.

Olecranon Plate

65-year-old female treated with an Olecranon plate.

ab Preoperative x-rays.

cd Postoperative x-rays.

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