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Radial Head Replacement

March 01, 2019

Contributors: Eric T Miller, MD; Craig A Siesel, MD; Kyle A Petersen, MD; Kyle A Petersen, MD

Radial head fractures are one of the most common types of elbow fractures. The number of radial head fracture fragments may affect the outcomes of open reduction and internal fixation. Patients with three or more radial head fracture fragments have poorer open reduction and internal fixation outcomes than those with less than three radial head fracture fragments. Radial head replacement is an alternative treatment option for patients with a more comminuted radial head fracture. Anatomic reduction is difficult to attain in patients with a three-part radial head fracture who undergo open reduction and internal fixation. Good clinical outcomes have been reported in patients who undergo radial head replacement. Therefore, radial head arthroplasty is a good treatment option for patients with three or more radial head fracture fragments. This video demonstrates radial head arthroplasty in a 23-year-old man with a three-part radial head fracture. The radial head implant provides a smooth and concentric surface for articulation with the capitellum and affords stability to the elbow. Radial head replacement is a good alternative treatment option for patients with three or more radial head fracture fragments, resulting in elbow range of motion and stability similar to that of the contralateral elbow.

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