Technique Using Isoelastic Tension Band for Treatment of Olecranon Fractures

Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2015 Dec;44(12):542-6.


The isoelastic ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene tension band may be considered an alternative to stainless steel wire for tension band fixation of olecranon fractures. In this article, we present our technique using this isoelastic tension band and describe the outcomes of 7 patients who underwent open reduction and internal fixation of closed, displaced olecranon fractures with minimal or no articular surface comminution. We reviewed medical records and performed physical examinations and functional assessments. Anatomical reduction was maintained in all elbows through union. Physical examination measurements indicated nominal side-to-side differences in motion and strength. Mean Broberg and Morrey elbow score was good (92/100), and mean (SD) Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score was 12.6 (17.2). One patient had a minor degree of hardware irritation at longest follow-up but did not request hardware removal. One patient underwent implant removal for a symptomatic implant 5 years after surgery. This easily reproducible technique yields excellent physical and functional outcomes.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Plates
  • Bone Wires
  • Elbow Joint / injuries*
  • Elbow Joint / physiopathology
  • Elbow Joint / surgery
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / instrumentation*
  • Fractures, Comminuted / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intra-Articular Fractures / physiopathology
  • Intra-Articular Fractures / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olecranon Process / injuries*
  • Olecranon Process / surgery
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Recovery of Function
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ulna Fractures / surgery*
  • Young Adult