Post-traumatic fishtail deformity of distal humerus-is there a risk for refracture?

BMJ Case Rep. 2016 Oct 14;2016:bcr2016217163. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2016-217163.


We present the case of fishtail deformity of distal humerus in a 13-year-old boy presenting with a refracture 8 years after the original surgically treated lateral condyle fracture. This unusual incomplete vertical fracture of distal humerus starting at the apex of fishtail was treated non-surgically and went on to union but refractured yet again 12 months later. This also went on to full healing with conservative treatment, however the fishtail deformity persists. We discuss the possibility that fishtail deformity reflects an inherent weakness in the distal humerus. We suggest that children and parents should be warned about the potential risk for refracture, particularly if they participate in contact sports.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Casts, Surgical
  • Fracture Fixation / methods
  • Humans
  • Humeral Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Humeral Fractures / therapy*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Soccer / injuries