Terrible triad of the elbow

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The terrible triad of the elbow is a severe elbow fracture-dislocation pattern and is so-called because it has poor medium-to-long term outcome. 

Mechanism

Most commonly due to a fall onto an outstretched hand, not necessarily high-energy, with the arm in semi-flexion and supination 3.

Radiographic features

The terrible triad of the elbow is the association of 1-2:

  1. posterior elbow dislocation
  2. coronoid process fracture
  3. radial head fracture

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Article Information

rID: 10500
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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