Kids can be fearless, and unfortunately that confidence can lead to unexpected falls. Whether falling from a skateboard, a scooter, or even a swing or trampoline, a child who tries to stop a fall with an outstretched hand can obtain a Monteggia fracture-dislocation.
A Monteggia fracture-dislocation is an injury that can occur when a child falls and reaches out his or her hand to break the fall. While these fractures are rare for adults, they can be common for children with the peak incidence of such a fracture occurring at 4 to 10 years old. The Monteggia fracture-dislocation refers to a fracture of the ulna, one of the bones in the forearm, with the dislocation of the radial head at the elbow. The symptoms of a Monteggia fracture-dislocation are pain and stiffness at the elbow with loss of range of motion of the elbow.
If a Monteggia fracture-dislocation is identified early by the radiologist or physician, the fracture will heal well with most children having good to excellent results. However, if a Monteggia fracture-dislocation is not diagnosed early, treatment becomes much more complex with extensive surgeries and physical therapy with the potential for poor outcomes, including permanent loss of range of motion of the elbow.
Failure to diagnose Monteggia fracture-dislocation claim
A nine-year child presents to the emergency room and orthopedist after a fall from a trampoline with complaints of right arm pain with swelling and bruising to the right elbow and not wanting to move the elbow. The arm was casted without any diagnosis of the radial head dislocation for 6 weeks. The delay in diagnosis of a Monteggia fracture-dislocation resulted in extensive reconstructive surgeries and extensive physical therapy with permanent loss of range of motion of the right elbow for the 9 year old child. Case is pending.