This is a mid- to long term follow-up study of 19 patients who received a bipolar radial head arthroplasty. The authors point out that the patients were treated for reconstructive radial head fractures. They were examined at a mean of 106 months following implantation.
The results demonstrate 6 achieved excellent results, 10 good and 1 fair with a mean dash score of 9.8. The average flexion was at 124°, the average extension deficit was 21° with pronation being 64° and supination measuring 64°. There were 2 dislocations, 8 degenerative changes in the capitellum, 1 with severe erosion. In addition signs of ulnohumeral arthrosis were found in 12 patients. No evidence of radiolucencies was detected.
The significance of this review is that even at mid-term follow-up, the results showed radiographic arthrosis in many patients. In addition, these patients demonstrated an average arc of motion from 20 – 120 degrees. While these results may be satisfactory, they indicate that long-term follow-up may be necessary in order to truly determine the effect of metal on cartilage at the radial capitellum articulation. This is especially true in the post-traumatic setting.