Synovectomy of the elbow in young hemophilic patients.

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Synovectomy of twenty-three elbows was done in eighteen patients, eight to twenty-five years old, who had severe hemophilia and were followed for eighteen to seventy months. Episodes of bleeding recurred in four elbows, and moderate pain persisted in three. A significant improvement in mobility was observed for pronation-supination in nine elbows and for flexion-extension in fourteen. No radiographic evidence of arthritis was seen. Synovectomy of the elbow, performed through a single lateral incision, appears to be a valuable surgical procedure in hemophiliacs in whom non-operative treatment has failed, and resection of the radial head should be done in adults when there is moderate or severe damage to the cartilage of the radial head.

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