Monteggia fracture

Monteggia fracture-dislocation
Classification and external resources

X-ray of Monteggia fracture of right forearm
ICD-10 S52.0
AO 22-C1
MeSH 68009011

The Monteggia fracture is a fracture of the proximal third of the ulna with dislocation of the head of the radius. It is named after Giovanni Battista Monteggia.[1][2]


Mechanisms include:


There are four types (depending upon displacement of the radial head):[3]

Bado Classification - Monteggia Fractures

These are known as the Bado types.


Monteggia fractures may be managed conservatively in children with closed reduction (resetting and casting), but due to high risk of displacement causing malunion, open reduction internal fixation is typically performed.[4]

Osteosynthesis (open reduction and internal fixation) of the ulnar shaft is considered the standard of care in adults. It promotes stability of the radial head dislocation and allows very early mobilisation to prevent stiffness. The elbow joint is particularly susceptible to loss of motion.


In children, the results of early treatment are always good, typically normal or nearly so. If diagnosis is delayed, reconstructive surgery is needed and complications are much more common and results poorer. In adults, the healing is slower and results usually not as good.

Complications of ORIF surgery for Monteggia fractures can include non-union, malunion, nerve palsy and damage, muscle damage, arthritis, tendonitis, infection, stiffness and loss of range of motion, compartment syndrome, audible popping or snapping, deformity, and chronic pain associated with surgical hardware such as pins, screws, and plates. Several surgeries may be needed to correct this type of fracture as it is almost always a very complex fracture that requires a skilled orthopedic surgeon, usually a 'specialist', familiar with this type of injury.[5]

See also


  1. Monteggia's fracture at Who Named It?
  2. G. B. Monteggia. Istituzioni Chirurgiche. Vol 5. Milano, Pirotta & Maspero, 1814.
  3. eMedicine: Monteggia Fracture
  4. McRae, Ronald; Esser, Max (2008). Practical Fracture Treatment (5th ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-443-06876-8.
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