November 10, 2017
1 min read

Complex elbow injuries do not affect long-term outcomes of radial head arthroplasty

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New data revealed that concomitant elbow injuries did not affect long-term outcomes of patients with unreconstructable radial head fractures requiring radial head arthroplasty.

Graham J. W. King, MD, FRCSC, and colleagues enrolled 148 patients with isolated elbow trauma and no previous injury to the elbow into their prospective trial. All patients underwent radial head arthroplasty for an acute unreconstructable fracture. Researchers classified patients’ injury patterns as simple or complex based on the presence or absence of associated elbow fractures or dislocation. Researchers collected Patient-Rated Elbow Evaluation, DASH, range of motion and Biodex measurements at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and then yearly.

Results showed no differences between groups for Patient-Rated Elbow Evaluation, DASH, range of motion and strength values at a minimum 1-year follow-up. Researchers found no effect of injury pattern on clinical outcomes at any time among 44 patients evaluated for a mean 7 years. According to the data, patients had continued statistical improvements in Patient-Rated Elbow Evaluation, supination range of motion and flexion range of motion at medium term compared with earlier follow-up. Researchers noted eight patients underwent secondary surgery, two in the simple injury group and six in the complex injury group.

“The paper suggests that good results can be expected using a smooth stem modular radial head arthroplasty in the setting of both simple and complex injuries,” King told “This data reinforces the success of this implant design which has been reported in a number of other studies.” – by Casey Tingle


Disclosures: King reports he receives consultant honoraria and royalties from Wright Medical Technology. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.