Vitallium Radial Head Prosthesis for Acute and Chronic Elbow Fractures and Fracture Dislocations Involving the Radial Head

Author(s): Chapman CB, Su BW, Sinicropi SM, Bruno R, Strauch RJ, Rosenwasser MP

Source: J Shoulder and Elbow Surg 15: 463-73, 2006.


This is a retrospective study evaluating the radiographic, functional, and patient outcome of 16 patients following radial head prosthesis for unreconstructable acute fractures of the radial head, as well as previously treated fracture of the radial head with residual instability. The patients were divided into acute and chronic; eight were considered acute and ten were considered chronic.  Patients were evaluated with the Mayo Elbow Performance Index, DASH score, and physical examination.

The results indicate that the mean DASH score was 24, indicating a significant impairment, and yet the DASH score in patients under 65 was only 12. The DASH score was 45 in those patients 65 years or older. Those having late radial head replacement surgery had a mean DASH score of 31.  All elbows were stable at follow-up.  The authors report that all patients with acute radial head prostheses had good or excellent scores on the Mayo Elbow Performance Scale.  As somewhat expected, patients who had radial head replacement acutely tended to have better results than those who had previous treatment.  In addition, they indicate that proper size in read head prosthesis is a key factor to allow for a maximum range of motion and elbow stability.


Elbow, Radial, Head, Prosthesis, Vitallium, Fractures

Related Links
J of Shoulder and Elbow Surg