J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2018 Aug;53(4):364-368. 10.4055/jkoa.2018.53.4.364.

Diagnosis of a Snapping Elbow Caused by Hypertrophic Plica, Using Ultrasound

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Goyang, Korea. osdoc.koh@gmail.com


This paper reports a case of a 21-year-old male patient who complained of intermittent pain and snapping at 110° of flexion in his left elbow joint. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a band-like low signal intensity in front of the radiohumeral joint. An ultrasound was conducted to check its association with the symptoms. Observations of a high echo escaping from the radiohumeral joint at the point when snapping occurred indicated noted that the hypertrophic plica was a cause of the snapping. The hypertrophic plica removed arthroscopically, and the results were good for up to 6 months after surgery. If snapping is observed in the elbow joint, it will be necessary to consider the symptoms from the hypertrophic plica, although rare, and ultrasound might be an effective tool for a differential diagnosis.


snapping elbow; plica; ultrasonography
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