Radial head arthroplasty (RHA) may be used in the treatment of non-reconstructable radial head fractures. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mid-term clinical and radiographic results of RHA.Patients and Methods
Between 2002 and 2014, 77 RHAs were implanted in 54 men and 23 women with either acute injuries (54) or with traumatic sequelae (23) of a fracture of the radial head. Four designs of RHA were used, including the Guepar (Small Bone Innovations (SBi)/Stryker; 36), Evolutive (Aston Medical; 24), rHead RECON (SBi/Stryker; ten) or rHead STANDARD (SBi/ Stryker; 7) prostheses. The mean follow-up was 74.0 months (standard deviation (SD) 38.6; 24 to 141). The indication for further surgery, range of movement, mean Mayo Elbow Performance (MEP) score, quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (quickDASH) score, osteolysis and positioning of the implant were also assessed according to the design, and acute or delayed use.Results
The mean MEP and quickDASH scores were 90.2 (SD 14; 45 to 100), and 14.0 points (SD 12; 1.2 to 52.5), respectively. There were no significant differences between RHA performed in acute or delayed fashion. There were 30 re-operations (19 with, and 11 without removal of the implant) during the first three post-operative years. Painful loosening was the primary indication for removal in 14 patients. Short-stemmed prostheses (16 mm to 22 mm in length) were also associated with an increased risk of painful loosening (odds ratio 3.54 (1.02 to 12.2), p = 0.045). Radiocapitellar instability was the primary indication for reoperation with retention of the implant (5). The overall survival of the RHA, free from reoperation, was 60.8% (SD 5.7%) at ten years.Conclusion
Bipolar and press-fit RHA gives unsatisfactory mid-term outcomes in the treatment of acute fractures of the radial head or their sequelae. The outcome may vary according to the design of the implant. The rate of re-operation during the first three years is predictive of the longterm survival in tight-fitting RHAs.