Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 10 , ISSUE 2 ( August, 2015 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Distal humerus prosthetic hemiarthroplasty: midterm results

Andras Heijink, Marc L. Wagener, Maarten J. de Vos, Denise Eygendaal

Keywords : Arthroplasty, Elbow, Posttraumatic, Trauma, Replacement, Upper extremity

Citation Information : Heijink A, Wagener ML, de Vos MJ, Eygendaal D. Distal humerus prosthetic hemiarthroplasty: midterm results. 2015; 10 (2):101-108.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-015-0229-z

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2013

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2015; The Author(s).


Treatment of comminuted distal humeral fractures remains challenging. Open reduction–internal fixation remains the preferred treatment, but is not always feasible. In selected cases with non-reconstructable or highly comminuted fractures, total elbow arthroplasty has been used, however, also with relatively high complication and failure rates. Distal humerus prosthetic hemiarthroplasty (DHA) may be an alternative in these cases. The purpose of this study was to report the midterm results of six patients that were treated by DHA for acute and salvage treatment of non-reconstructable fractures of the distal humerus. All six patients were treated by DHA for acute and salvage treatment of non-reconstructable fractures of the distal humerus. Medical records were reviewed, and each patient was seen in the office. Mean follow-up was 54 months (range 21–76 months). Implant survival was 100 %. Three were pain free and three had mild or moderate residual pain. Average flexion–extension arc was 95.8° (range 70°–115°) and average pronation–supination arc was 165° (range 150°–180°). In three, there was some degree of instability, which was symptomatic in one. One had motoric and sensory sequelae of a partially recovered traumatic ulnar nerve lesion. According to the Mayo Elbow Performance Score, there were three excellent, one good and two poor results. Four were satisfied with the final result, and two were not. In this case series of six patients with DHA for non-reconstructable distal humerus fractures, favorable midterm follow-up results were seen; however, complications were also observed.

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