Total Elbow Arthroplasty: Current Options

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Abstract

Total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) has changed considerably in the past three decades. Based on the good long-term results with TEA in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the indications expanded to include management of acute traumatic and posttraumatic conditions in young, higher-demand patients. Today, unlinked, linked semiconstrained, and convertible devices are available. The high complication rate with earlier surgeries led to surgical advances such as new cementing technique and a focus on managing the triceps. Complications such as infection, aseptic loosening, polyethylene wear, periprosthetic fracture, triceps insufficiency, wound breakdown, and ulnar nerve injury will continue to spur the evolution of surgical technique and implant design. Refinement of surgical indications and improvement in implant fixation, polyethylene design, component implantation, and pathology-specific implants will determine the future success of TEA.

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