IMAGING, ORTHOPAEDICS, PAEDIATRICS
A descriptive term for osteonecrosis of the humeral trochlea which develops as a complication of elbow fractures in children and been fancifully likened to a fish tail.
The deformity follows the initial injury by 4.7 years on average; most present with pain and
mechanical symptoms. Arthroscopic debridement may temporarily improve symptoms, but the long-term prognosis is guarded. Subluxation of the radial head is associated with worse functional results. Early detection and surgical strategies to prevent proximal migration of the forearm and development of ulnotrochlear incongruity, radial head dislocation, and impingement may improve outcomes in patients with fishtail deformity.
Synonym Fishtail deformity of the distal humerus
Reference J Pediatr Orthop. 2013 Sep;33(6):592-7.