Posterior Elbow Impingement


Posterior Elbow Impingement, Elbow Posterior Impingement, Valgus Extension Overload Syndrome, Olecranon Osteophyte

  • Pathophysiology
  1. Olecranon impingement within the olecranon fossa
    1. May stimulate the formation of osteophytes with chronic impingement
  2. Young athletes
    1. Results from repetitive valgus stress with elbow in hyperextension (e.g. throwing javelin)
  3. Older patients
    1. Osteoarthritis related osteophyte formation
  • Symptoms
  1. Posterior Elbow pain
    1. Provoked on full elbow extension
  • Signs
  1. Provoked with passive elbow extension
  2. Fixed flexion deformity (unable to fully extend due to posterior osteophyte)
  • Imaging
  1. Elbow XRay
    1. May demonstrate ostephyte
  • Management
  1. Avoid provocative activities (i.e. full elbow extension)
  2. Arthroscopy with osteotomy of posterior osteophytes
    1. Indicated in refractory cases