This is a retrospective follow-up study of the GSB III prosthesis. The authors examined a total of 18 elbows in 15 patients at a mean period of 7.6 years (range 5.5-11.9). The goal of the study was to evaluate the longevity of the prosthesis and document the rate of loosening. The results of the study indicated that loosening was seen in one out of 15 patients and was related primarily to inadequate cement technique. The authors noted that lysis of the distal humeral/proximal component was noted in ten elbows. They felt that the majority of these patients developed lysis secondary to polyethylene bushing wear.
The clinical significance of the study is to indicate that with the more rigidly constrained total elbow designs, there was an unacceptably high rate of loosening. With the semi-constrained design used in both the GSB III and also the Gill and Morrey, there was a lower rate of loosening, but there was a higher rate of polyethylene wear particles. The other clinically significant point is that there is a significant intermediate (25%) and long-term (11%) incidence of ulnar neuritis following elbow arthroplasty. They concluded that transposition of the elbow is superior to mobilization.
Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery 13(4):434-440, 2004.