Elbow Kinematics After Radiocapitellar Arthroplasty
ABSTRACT Radiocapitellar arthroplasty has been proposed as a reconstructive option for combined radial head and capitellar deficiency. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of radiocapitellar replacement on elbow kinematics. We hypothesized that with the medial collateral ligament (MCL) intact, radiocapitellar arthroplasty would replicate normal kinematics, and that a radiocapitellar arthroplasty would more closely approximate normal kinematics than an elbow with a deficient lateral column or with a deficient MCL.
We tested 7 cadaveric arms in an upper extremity joint simulator. Each arm underwent computed tomographic scanning to aid implant size selection and computer-assisted implant insertion. We obtained kinematic data using an electromagnetic tracking system during elbow flexion. The capitellar and radial head implants were placed through an extended lateral epicondylar osteotomy. We sectioned the anterior bundle of the MCL, leaving the flexor-pronator mass intact. Outcomes of interest were varus-valgus and rotational kinematics of the ulnohumeral joint.
The radiocapitellar arthroplasty showed no difference in kinematics compared with the postosteotomy control. The MCL-deficient elbow showed more valgus angulation and more external ulnar rotation than the control or radiocapitellar arthroplasty in the pronated, valgus loaded position. The deficient lateral column demonstrated increased external ulnar rotation kinematics during active elbow flexion.
Radiocapitellar arthroplasty can restore normal elbow kinematics with the MCL intact. If the MCL is deficient, radiocapitellar arthroplasty does not restore normal kinematics.
Radiocapitellar arthroplasty should be considered in cases of lateral column deficiency because it maintains normal elbow kinematics during active motion. Whereas radiocapitellar arthroplasty improves the stability of the MCL-deficient elbow with deficiency of the lateral column, reconstruction of the MCL may further improve normal kinematics.
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ABSTRACT: A number of radial head implants are in clinical use for the management of radial head fractures and their sequelae. However, the optimal shape of a radial head implant to ensure proper tracking relative to the capitellum has not been established. This in vitro biomechanical study compared radiocapitellar joint kinematics for 3 radial head implant designs as well as the native head. Eight cadaveric upper extremities were tested using a forearm rotation simulator with the elbow at 90° of flexion. Motion of the radius relative to the capitellum was optically tracked. A stem was navigated into a predetermined location and cemented in place. Three unipolar implant shapes were tested: axisymmetric, reverse-engineered patient-specific, and population-based quasi-anatomic. The patient-specific and quasi-anatomic implants were derived from measurements performed on computed tomography models. Medial-lateral and anterior-posterior translation of the radial head with respect to the capitellum varied with forearm rotation and radial head condition. A significant difference in medial-lateral (P = .03) and anterior-posterior (P = .03) translation was found between the native radial head and the 3 implants. No differences were observed among the radial head conditions except for a difference in medial-lateral translation between the axisymmetric and patient-specific implants (P = .04). Radiocapitellar kinematics of the tested radial head implants were similar in all but one comparison, and all had different kinematics from the native radial head. Patient-specific radial head implants did not prove advantageous relative to conventional implant designs. The shape of the fixed stem unipolar radial head implants had little influence on radiocapitellar kinematics when optimally positioned in this testing model. Copyright © 2014 Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Board of Trustees. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery 11/2014; 24(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jse.2014.09.019 · 2.37 Impact Factor