Cadaveric elbow allografts. A six-year experience.
Transplantation of total elbow allografts has been employed as a salvage procedure in an attempt to provide patients with a useful, painless range of motion of the elbow. Patients who are candidates for this procedure include those with disabling elbow joint symptoms who refuse an arthrodesis or are not candidates for conventional total elbow replacement because of excessive bone loss or young age. Allografts must be subjected to rigid internal fixation. Rush rod fixation used early in this series was associated with a high incidence of nonunion. In this series, ten patients followed for one to six years were provided with a functional elbow. However, long-term results are still unknown. Although not recommended for routine use, this operation is viewed as a salvage procedure. The use of allografts in elbow reconstruction does not preclude subsequent reconstruction with another allograft or fusion. In patients with deficient bone stock, the allografts reestablish bone mass to permit an arthrodesis or reconstructive arthroplasty.
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