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Hand Clin. 2004 Nov;20(4):429-41, vi.

Management of comminuted radial head fractures with replacement arthroplasty.

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The Hand and Upper Limb Centre, St. Joseph's Health Centre, Division Of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Of Western Ontario, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, Ontario, Canada.


Radial head arthroplasty is indicated for displaced comminuted radial head fractures that cannot be managed reliably with open reduction and internal fixation and that have an associated elbow dislocation. Replacement also is indicated in patients with comminuted radial head fractures that have or are likely to have a disruption of the medial col-lateral, lateral collateral, or interosseous ligaments. Biomechanical studies have demonstrated that metallic implants restore elbow stability similar to the native radial head. The early and midterm clinical experience with metallic radial head arthroplasty has been encouraging relative to earlier reports with silicone devices. Newer modular designs incorporate improved sizing to better reproduce the anatomy of the proximal radius and are easier to insert intraoperatively.

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