Total Elbow Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review.
Most total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) designs aim to replicate anatomy and provide stability in the treatment of the degenerative elbow joint. Given the promising results that have been reported following the use of TEA for the treatment of complex fractures, the indications for this procedure are growing. The objective of the present study was to review the most recent literature on the results of the most commonly performed TEAs.METHODS
A comprehensive literature search was conducted. All relevant studies were reviewed according to a set of predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. After the initial assessment, 2 authors extracted data from the included articles. Groups were created on the basis of the design of TEA implant, the type of implant (linked or unlinked), and the indication for treatment. Outcome parameters were survival rate, pain, range of motion, complications, and specific elbow outcome scores.RESULTS
Seventy-three articles involving a total of 9,379 TEAs were included. The level of evidence was primarily Level IV. Nineteen specific designs of TEA implants were described, including the Souter-Strathclyde (n = 2,387), Coonrad-Morrey (n = 1,586), Kudo (n = 560), and GSB III (n = 498). The most common indication for TEA was rheumatoid arthritis (70%). The weighted mean survival rate for the linked and unlinked prostheses was 85.5% at 7.8 years and 74% at 12.3 years, respectively. For the Coonrad-Morrey, Souter-Strathclyde, and GSB III, the weighted mean survival rate was 87.2% at 7.2 years, 70.6% at 14.2 years, and 81.7% at 9.5 years, respectively. The range of motion after TEA was good overall, with a mean flexion angle of 129° and a mean extension lag angle of 30°. The complication rates ranged from 11% to 38%, with clinical loosening being the most frequently reported complication (7%).CONCLUSIONS
The results of TEA are respectable overall. It appears that there are small differences between designs. However, despite the fairly good functional results and elbow scores, the survival and complication rates are still not as favorable as those following arthroplasties in other joints.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE
Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.