Total elbow arthroplasty

Case contributed by Matt A. Morgan
Diagnosis certain


History of comminuted and displaced left distal humeral fracture.

Patient Data

Age: 70 years
Gender: Female

Total elbow arthroplasty


AP and lateral postoperative radiographs of a total elbow arthroplasty.

The radial head is intact in this arthroplasty, but may be resected when placing other types.

The anterior flange of the humeral component of the prosthesis adds mechanical stability.

Case Discussion

Elbow arthroplasties are becoming increasingly common joint replacements as the indications for their use widens from primarily late stage rheumatoid arthritis to include both late stage osteoarthritis and treatment for complex elbow fractures.

Elbow arthroplasties involve two main types

  • total elbow arthroplasty (as in this case)
  • radial head replacement

The indications and complications for each type are slightly different, as covered in the main article on elbow arthoplasty.

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