Background: Radial head arthroplasty (RHA) is typically performed to restore elbow stability or function in patients with fractures or degenerative joint diseases. The procedure requires a specific operating technique to avoid complications such as overstuffing, capitellar erosion, stiffness, instability, micro motion, and loosening. It is difficult to restore native radial head function reliably.
Methods: We reviewed the medical records of 45 patients who underwent radial head arthroplasty using the ALIGN radial head implant (ALIGN Radial Head System, Skeletal Dynamics, Miami, FL) at our institution. A total of 15 patients met inclusion criteria and were contacted to complete a QuickDASH questionnaire, with additional questions on range of motion, strength, stability, pain, and satisfaction. The monoblock ALIGN implant has a long, press-fit stem coated in titanium plasma spray (TPS), is comprised of cobalt chrome, and is anatomically aligned by the provided alignment jig.
Results: Of the 15 patients, one reported severe loss of motion. No patient reported severe loss of strength, loss of stability, or pain. The average QuickDASH score was 12.62 (SD, 18.06) of 100, and the average patient satisfaction score was 8.80 (SD, 2.18) of 10.
Conclusions: Radial head arthroplasty may result in suboptimal performance. Functional outcomes after using this implant with monoblock design have been favorable. The design may accurately replicate the anatomical function of the native radial head, and the long, TPS-coated press-fit stem may provide more stability and osseous integration than other implants. The results of this study indicated satisfactory midterm results after use of the ALIGN implant in radial head arthroplasty.
Pertierra, Gabriel; Lauren L. Vernon; and Francisco Rubio. "Midterm Results of an Anatomical Radial Head Arthroplasty for Treating Fractures and Degenerative Joint Diseases of the Radial Head." UNM Orthopaedic Research Journal 7, 1 (2018). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/unm_jor/vol7/iss1/20