Background: Radial head fractures are one of the more common fractures of the body, and the most common fractures around the elbow.
Case report: While these can present in isolation, concomitant injuries to the ulna, elbow joint and surrounding ligaments, interosseous membrane, proximal radioulnar joint, and distal radioulnar joint can also occur. It is imperative that the treating surgeon rules out any concomitant injuries when evaluating a patient with a radial head fracture as the treatment options vary greatly depending on the structures which are damaged.
Conclusions: Radial head resection, a viable treatment option for isolated radial head fractures, can lead to long-term sequelae if performed for a radial head fracture accompanied by interosseous membrane and distal radioulnar joint injury; this combination is termed an Essex-Lopresti injury. We will review the topic of Essex-Lopresti injuries, and discuss proper treatment options for these injuries.