The aim of this study was to report the long-term outcome and implant survival of the lateral resurfacing elbow (LRE) arthroplasty in the treatment of elbow arthritis.Patients and Methods
We reviewed a consecutive series of 27 patients (30 elbows) who underwent LRE arthroplasty between December 2005 and January 2008. There were 15 women and 12 men, with a mean age of 61 years (25 to 82). The diagnosis was primary hypotrophic osteoarthritis (OA) in 12 patients (14 elbows), post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) in five (five elbows) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in ten patients (11 elbows). The mean clinical outcome scores including the Mayo Elbow Performance Score (MEPS), the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons elbow score (ASES-e), the mean range of movement and the radiological outcome were recorded at three, six and 12 months and at a mean final followup of 8.3 years (7.3 to 9.4). A one samplet-test comparing pre and postoperative values, and survival analysis using the Kaplan-Meier method were undertaken.Results
A statistically significantly increased outcome score was noted for the whole group at each time interval. This was also significantly increased at each time in each of the subgroups (OA, RA, and PTOA). Implant survivorship was 100%.Conclusion
We found that the LRE arthroplasty, which was initially developed for younger patients with osteoarthritis, is an effective form of surgical treatment for a wider range of patients with more severe degenerative changes, irrespective of their cause. It is therefore a satisfactory alternative to total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) and has lower rates of complications in the subgroups of patients we have studied. It does not require activities to be restricted to the same extent as following TEA. Based on this experience, we now recommend LRE arthroplasty rather than TEA as the primary form of implant for the treatment of patients with OA of the elbow.