Biomechanical study of the elbow following excision of the radial head.

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Abstract

The extent of proximal migration of the radius in thirteen patients who had had the radial head excised for fracture was 1.9 millimeters. After an average of twenty years there was minimum loss of motion of the elbow and forearm but strength was moderately decreased. The patients often had degenerative arthritis at the elbow that generally was not severe but correlated with the amount of pain. It correlated poorly with the severity of arthritis, loss of strength, motion, or pain. Over-all, the patients did well following resection of the radial head and there was no deterioration of results with time. An instrumented method for functional evaluation provided an objective and sensitive quantitative means to assess the need for and effectiveness of reconstructive procedure.

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