Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Recurrent painful locking of the elbow joint
  1. R Thonse,
  2. M Belthur
  1. Department of Orthopaedics, Alexandra Hospital, Redditch, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Mr R Thonse, Room 3, Flat 6, RMO Block, Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull HU3 2J2, UK;

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Answers on p 305.

A 45 year old, right handed bank clerk presented with pain and intermittent locking of the left elbow of 12 months' duration. Pain was intermittent and was activity related. The left elbow locked intermittently on movement, with self manoeuvres of the patient unlocking it. There was no history of trauma or history suggestive of inflammatory arthropathy.

The left elbow had a fixed flexion deformity of 30 degrees with range of motion from 30 to 120 degrees with firm block to further flexion. Rotations of the left forearm were full and pain-free. There was no joint line tenderness. The radiographs of the left elbow are shown below in figs 1 and 2.

Figure 1

Anteroposterior view of left elbow joint.

Figure 2

Lateral view of the left elbow joint.


  1. What are the features seen on the radiographs?

  2. What is the likely diagnosis?

  3. What is the line of management?

Linked Articles

    The Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine
    The Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine