The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible effect of radiographic loosening on clinical and functional outcomes, while presenting the mid-term radiographic and functional outcomes of cemented, monopolar RHA applied to patients with comminuted radial head fractures.
We performed a retrospective study by evaluating the records of patients who were diagnosed in a single center with radial head fractures between 2001 and 2013. Twenty-six patients with comminuted radial head fractures with a mean age of 48.9 and a mean follow-up time of 132.2 months were included. The radiographic evaluation was performed by assessing peri-prosthetic radiolucent lines around the stem to evaluate loosening, while the clinical evaluation was performed by utilizing elbow range of motion (ROM), Mayo elbow performance score (MEPS), Oxford elbow score (OES) and quick-DASH scores.
13 patients (Group 1) with peri-prosthetic stem lucency were defined as radiographic loosening (50%), while the remaining 13 patients (Group 2) were not detected to have stem lucency. One patient in group 1 also had concomitant pain and underwent removal of the prosthesis, while 12 patients (92.3%) remained pain-free. On the latest follow-up visit, there was no significant difference between the groups regarding ROM, MEPS, OES and quick-DASH scores.
Within ten years following surgery, half of the patients with radial head prostheses were noted to show radiographic signs of loosening which did not have any major negative effect in terms of clinical-functional outcomes and quality of life, except requiring the removal of the implant in one patient.
Level of Evidence