The internal joint stabilizer for chronic elbow dislocation: a surgical technique

Luis M. Salazar, Vaibhav Kanawade, Gautham Prabhakar, Bao Quynh Julian, Jacob Brennan, Matthew Smith, David A. Momtaz, Anil K. Dutta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The main goal of treatment for chronically unreduced elbow dislocations is to restore a stable, concentric joint and regain a satisfactory arc of motion. Due to the conflicting goals of restoring elbow stability and regaining a good arc of motion, the treatment of chronic elbow dislocation remains a challenge for even the experienced orthopedic surgeon. The standard treatment of these dislocations consists of open reduction, V-Y muscleplasty of the triceps, and temporary arthrodesis or cast immobilization. However, prolonged postoperative immobilization may result in elbow stiffness, which significantly limits the functional outcome. We present our surgical technique with a focus on restoring stable reduction such that early motion can be instituted and complications of prolonged immobilization can be avoided. From position to wound closure, surgical steps are presented in detail, with pearls for practice and a discussion on chronic elbow dislocation. The internal joint stabilizer is a safe and effective implant that complements the management of chronic elbow dislocations. This reproducible surgical technique allows for stability and early mobility while having the added benefit of circumventing complications associated with prolonged immobilization and hinged external fixation. Understanding the surgical indications, as well as the nuances of the surgical technique utilizing the internal joint stabilizer, is critical in order to improve patient outcomes and avoid complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-229
Number of pages11
JournalJSES Reviews, Reports, and Techniques
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Chronic elbow dislocation
  • Elbow instability
  • Elbow stiffness
  • IJS
  • Internal joint stabilizer
  • Review and Technique Article

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Reviews and References, Medical
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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