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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2012 Apr;94(3):189-92. doi: 10.1308/003588412X13171221589775.

Total elbow replacement with the Coonrad-Morrey prosthesis: our medium to long-term results.

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Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK.



Semiconstrained total elbow replacement is now a well recognised and reliable surgical option for advanced elbow disease, mainly rheumatoid arthritis.


We report a retrospective analysis of 31 primary total elbow replacements in 28 patients with a mean follow-up duration of 55 months. The mean age of the patients was 65 years. The indications included 27 cases of rheumatoid arthritis, 3 fractures and 1 case of osteoarthritis. Twenty-one elbows in nineteen patients were assessed using the Mayo elbow performance score (MEPS) in a special follow-up clinic. In the other nine patients (ten elbows), the assessment was carried out with case notes and x-rays.


The mean pre-operative MEPS in the 21 elbows recalled was 40. This improved to 89 post-operatively (range: 55-100). Sixteen of the twenty-one elbows were considered excellent, two good, two fair and one poor. The range of movement was recorded in eight of the other ten elbows and the mean was 98°. At the last follow-up visit, x-rays were normal in 23 elbows although the ulnar component was loose in 3, the humeral component loose in 2. There were also two cases of non-union of the medial epicondyle and one patient had mild heterotopic ossification. Complications included one infection, which needed irrigation and debridement with a satisfactory final result, and two cases of ulnar nerve palsy/neurapraxia. Two elbows were considered failures due to severe pain caused by prosthetic loosening. These were referred for revision surgery.


Excellent pain relief and good function can be achieved in the medium and long term with the Coonrad-Morrey-semiconstrained total elbow replacement prosthesis in patients with severe destructive elbow arthropathy.

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