Sloppy hinge prosthetic elbow replacement for post-traumatic ankylosis or instability

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From 1984 to 1995, 68 ankylosed elbows and 11 which were unstable after trauma were replaced in India by Baksi sloppy hinge prostheses.The mean age of the patients was 28.6 years (17 to 70) and the mean follow-up 9.6 years (2 to 13.5).

Of the 68 ankylosed elbows, 59 (87%) regained a mean arc of painless movement of 88.5 degrees (27 to 115). The mean improvement of supination was 24 degrees and of pronation 16.5 degrees. There were 54 good results (80%), eight fair and three poor. There were two complete failures due to infection, and one due to a broken humeral stem.

Of the 11 unstable elbows, the nine with good results had a mean arc of 125 degrees (15 to 140) of painless stable movement, with a mean improvement in supination of 26 degrees and of pronation of 19.5 degrees. There was one fair result and one failure due to loosening with subsequent late infection.

There were significant complications in 14 cases with infection in seven and aseptic loosening in four.Patients with loosening or late removal of the prosthesis often retained reasonably stable elbow movement because periprosthetic fibrosis had connected the approximated bone ends, and muscle balance had been restored.

J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 1998;80-B:614-9.

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