Arthroscopic resection of the radial head.
The authors describe arthroscopic radial head resection in patients with post-traumatic arthritis after fractures of the radial head or in patients with rheumatoid arthritis of the elbow joint, as an expanded indication for elbow arthroscopy. Arthroscopic radial head resection allows the surgeon to deal with the intrinsic joint pathology, as well as with accompanying symptoms such as synovitis, capsular contracture, or loose bodies. The portals used are the proximal medial, anterolateral, and the midlateral portal. The anterior three quarters of the radial head and 2 to 3 mm of the radial neck are resected with the stone-cutting abrader in the anterolateral portal and the arthroscope in the proximal medial portal. For resection of the posterior portion of the radial head, the abrader may be transferred to the midlateral portal. This permits resection of the remnants of the radial head posteriorly and also at the proximal radioulnar joint. Arthroscopic treatment allows the patient to begin and maintain an aggressive postoperative physical therapy program immediately after surgery, thus decreasing the risk of anterior scarring and reoccurring contracture of the capsule of the elbow joint.
Menth-Chiari, WA; Poehling, GG; Ruch, DS
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