This is a retrospective review of 37 patients treated with a pre-contoured elbow plating system. All patients had type C intra articular distal humerus fracture. All patients had union of their fractures without any implant failures. Despite this, however, there was a total of 53% complication rate with 5 patients having post-operative peripheral nerve injuries. In addition, 2 patients had wound dehiscence requiring surgical debridement, IV antibiotics and secondary closure. Finally, 9% required surgical release for symptomatic post-traumatic elbow stiffness. It is of note that 12% of patients described having symptomatic implants, 3 of which were on the medial side. Two patients required implant removal and in one of these 2 of the screws were broken during the removal process.
It is clear that these intraarticular distal humerus fractures may be treated with parallel plating system rather than orthogonal plating systems. There is no evidence to suggest superiority of one configuration over another. There remains a relatively high complication rate if results are critically analyzed. Fortunately, union rate is typically high.