Elbow injuries in children are very common and radiographs are often difficult to interpret because of the radiolucency of the cartilaginous anlage and the progressive appearance of multiple secondary ossification centres. Elbow dislocations are rare injuries in children. Coronoid fractures can occur during dislocation or relocation of the elbow and can be the only hallmark of a severe injury. The understanding of the mechanics of these injuries has undergone considerable evolution over the past decade. Intra-articular chondral flap fractures are a traumatic elevation of the hyaline cartilage from the subchondral bone. They are also rare injuries in children but should be included in the differential when examining an injured joint. The infrequency of these injuries provides little opportunity to become accustomed to the radiographic signs. We present a case report of a 4-year-old boy with both an olecranon chondral flap and coronoid cartilaginous fracture after a joint dislocation. We present his plain radiography and MRI with illustrated photographic records of the operative findings. This injury has been little described in the literature and never with such imaging to aid understanding of both the pathology and the injury mechanism.
- Elbow injury