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Case Reports in Orthopedics
Volume 2015, Article ID 121646, 4 pages
Case Report

An Unusual Cause of Posterior Elbow Impingement: Detachment of a Hypertrophied Posterior Fat Pad

Department of Orthopedics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Tokushima University Graduate School, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan

Received 23 September 2015; Accepted 21 October 2015

Academic Editor: Werner Kolb

Copyright © 2015 Daisuke Hamada et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report a case of a 47-year-old woman who developed posterior impingement of the elbow due to detachment of a hypertrophied posterior fat pad. She reported acute left elbow pain after leaning back onto a hard object with her hand and subsequently experienced a “catching” sensation. Comparison with the magnetic resonance images of a normal elbow revealed a hypertrophied posterior fat pad interposed between the olecranon and olecranon fossa in both elbows, with the fat pad in the left elbow located more inferiorly than that in the right elbow. Elbow arthroscopy showed the olecranon fossa covered by the fat pad, a portion of which was detached from the rest of the pad. Debridement of the detached portion was performed until no impingement was evident. Postoperatively, full extension of the elbow did not elicit pain. Clinicians should include this pathology among the differential diagnoses for posterior elbow pain.