Fishtail deformity (elbow)

Fishtail deformity of the elbow is characterized by a contour abnormality of the distal humerus, which develops when the lateral trochlear ossification centers fail to develop or resorbs.

It is an uncommon complication usually following a distal humeral fracture in childhood. Whilst initially presumed to be a benign condition, long-term follow-up suggests that patients with fishtail deformity are prone to:

  • functional impairment
  • ongoing pain
  • development of early osteoarthrosis