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Scientific Articles   |    
Incidence of Elbow Dislocations in the United States Population
Jason W. Stoneback, MD1; Brett D. Owens, MD2; Joshua Sykes, MD1; George S. Athwal, MD, FRCSC3; Lauren Pointer, MS4; Jennifer Moriatis Wolf, MD5
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Colorado-Denver, 12631 East 17th Avenue, Room 4602, Aurora, CO 80045
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Keller Army Hospital, 900 Washington Road, West Point, NY 10996
3 Hand and Upper Limb Centre, St. Joseph's Health Centre, University of Western Ontario, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, ON N6A 4L6, Canada
4 Denver Veterans Administration Medical Center, 1220 South Clermont Street, Denver, CO 80220
5 New England Musculoskeletal Institute, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030. E-mail address: jmwolf@uchc.edu
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Investigation performed at the University of Colorado-Denver, Denver, Colorado

Disclaimer: The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the Department of Defense or the United States government. Two of the authors are employees of the U.S. government.



Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. One or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. No author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2012 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2012 Feb 01;94(3):240-245. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.J.01663
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Abstract

Background: 

There is minimal published information regarding the epidemiology of simple elbow dislocations. The purpose of this study was to report the estimated incidence of elbow dislocations in the United States, with use of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database.

Methods: 

The NEISS database includes 102 hospitals representing a random sampling of all patients presenting to U.S. emergency departments. The database was queried for elbow dislocation events. NEISS data for 2002 through 2006 were used for raw data and weighted injury counts. Incidence rates with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated by age group and sex, with use of U.S. census data.

Results: 

One thousand and sixty-six elbow dislocations were identified, representing a weighted estimate of 36,751 acute dislocations nationwide. A calculated incidence of 5.21 dislocations per 100,000 person-years (95% CI, 4.74 to 5.68) was noted. The highest incidence of elbow dislocations (43.5%) occurred in those who were ten to nineteen years old (6.87 per 100,000 person-years; 95% CI, 5.97 to 7.76). The incidence rate ratio for the comparison of dislocations in males with those in females was 1.02 (5.26 per 100,000 for males and 5.16 per 100,000 for females). In patients ten years or older, 474 injuries (44.5% of total dislocations) were sustained in sports. Males dislocated elbows in football, wrestling, and basketball. Females sustained elbow dislocations most frequently in gymnastics and skating activities.

Conclusions: 

The estimated incidence of elbow dislocations in the U.S. population is 5.21 per 100,000 person-years, with use of a national database. Adolescent males are at highest risk for dislocation. Nearly half of acute elbow dislocations occurred in sports, with males at highest risk with football, and females at risk with gymnastics and skating activities.

Level of Evidence: 

Prognostic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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