Distal Humeral Fractures-Current Concepts

James C. Beazley, Njalalle Baraza*, Robert Jordan, Chetan S. Modi
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Clifford Bridge Road, CV2 2DX, Coventry, UK

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© 2017 Beazley et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Clifford Bridge Road, CV2 2DX, Coventry, UK, Tel: 02476965094; E-mail njaleb@doctors.org.uk



Distal humerus fractures constitute 2% of all fractures in the adult population. Although historically, these injuries have been treated non-operatively, advances in implant design and surgical technique have led to improved outcomes following operative fixation.


A literature search was performed and the authors’ personal experiences are reported.


This review has discussed the anatomy, classifications, treatment options and surgical techniques in relation to the management of distal humeral fractures. In addition, we have discussed controversial areas including the choice of surgical approach, plate orientation, transposition of the ulnar nerve and the role of elbow arthroplasty.


Distal humeral fractures are complex injuries that require a careful planned approach, when considering surgical fixation, to restore anatomy and achieve good functional outcomes.

Keywords: Distal humerus fracture, Fracture fixation, Open reduction internal fixation, Total elbow arthroplasty, Anatomy, Elbow.