Capitellocondylar total elbow replacement. A long-term follow-up study

J. T. Ruth, A. H. Wilde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Fifty-one capitellocondylar elbow replacements were inserted in forty-one patients between 1976 and 1986. Thirty-nine patients had rheumatoid arthritis and two had traumatic osteoarthrosis. The average age of the patients at the time of the operation was fifty-six years (range, twenty-one to seventy-seven years). Thirty-one patients who had thirty-nine retained elbow prostheses had an average length of follow-up of 6.5 years (range, two to thirteen years). Flexion improved an average of 20 degrees; extension, 4 degrees; pronation, 22 degrees; and supination, 36 degrees. Relief of pain was complete in 85 per cent of the thirty-nine elbows, and in 15 per cent there was only mild pain. Noteworthy postoperative complications in the original fifty-one elbows included infection in four elbows (8 per cent), dislocation in three (6 per cent), and ulnar neuropathy in sixteen (31 per cent). Three elbows were revised; one for a humeral fracture, one for recurrent dislocation, and one for aseptic loosening. Aseptic loosening was evident on radiographs of two elbows; one patient was completely asymptomatic, and one had mild pain with deformity. The Souter zonal radiographic assessment system for identification of radiolucencies at the bone-cement interface was utilized; there was no significant difference in radiolucencies between ulnar components backed with metal and those that were not backed with metal. Kaplan-Meier cumulative survivorship analysis demonstrated that a functional prosthesis was retained in 88 per cent of the elbows at 1.4 years postoperatively and in 83 per cent at 5.5 years. This suggested that if the elbow replacement was going to fail, it did so early. Failure was most often related to infection that occurred in the first two years. Failure secondary to loosening was uncommon and occurred later.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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