Overlengthening of the radial column in radial head replacement: a review of the literature and presentation of a classification system

K. Wegmann, M. Hackl, T. Leschinger, K. J. Burkhart, L. P. Müller
2020 Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery  
Background Radial head arthroplasty is a common procedure in elbow surgery. It has been shown to be of benefit for the patients, but there also are relevant complications that should be prevented if possible. One significant complication is overlengthening of the radial head prosthesis. In overlengthening, the head of the prosthesis overextends the physiological level of the native radial head and leads to overcompression in the radiohumeral joint. Rapid erosion and arthritic changes may then
more » ... changes may then impede the clinical outcome. The incidence of overlengthening is not precisely known, but estimations range to up to 20% of all implanted prostheses. Methods The present review discusses the available body of literature on overlengthening and lines out a classification system that may be used to guide treatment algorithms. The classification is based on the personal experiences of the author during their clinical practice. Results In low-grade overlengthening (type I) conservative treatment can be an option. In Types II–IV usually revision surgery is needed. Depending on the state of the capitulum and joint stability, it is possible re-implant a prosthesis, or rely on implant removal alone. Discussion The present review aimed at shedding light into overlengthening as a complication radial head replacement and to help identify and treat it.
doi:10.1007/s00402-020-03619-9 pmid:33057805 fatcat:tfnft3kvojghzattxp2xajivfm