Posterolateral Rotatory Instability of the Elbow: Part I. Mechanism of Injury and the Posterolateral Rotatory Drawer Test

Arthrosc Tech. 2017 Apr 3;6(2):e401-e405. doi: 10.1016/j.eats.2016.10.016. eCollection 2017 Apr.


Posterolateral rotatory instability (PLRI) is the most commonly encountered pattern of elbow instability. It is the result of disruption of the lateral collateral ligament complex leading to a posterolateral rotatory subluxation of the ulna and radial head. A number of examination maneuvers have been described to assist in clinical identification of PLRI. Despite this, some inconsistency in the description of these techniques remains in the orthopaedic literature. This Technical Note details the mechanism of injury and patient presentation, and emphasizes the primacy of the posterolateral rotatory drawer test in the assessment of PLRI while providing video instruction on how it should be performed.