Surgeon Compares Three Implants for Elbow Joint Replacement

Surgeons rely on research to know which operation or implant for joint replacement has the best results. There aren't very many studies on elbow replacement. Doctors in England reviewed the literature and found only five articles comparing elbow implants. Two of those devices aren't even used any more.

So they set out to compare three of the current implants on the market. Three groups of patients with rheumatoid arthritis were studied. Each group of 33 subjects had a different implant. The names of the implants used are 1) Souter-Strathclyde, 2) Kudo, and 3) Coonrad-Morrey.

Pain levels and range of motion (elbow flexion) were the measures used to compare success. X-rays were used to look for any loosening or sinking into the bone of the new joint. All implants were done by or under the supervision of one surgeon. The patients were followed for at least five years.

All three implants were equally good at giving patients pain relief. Range of motion was also the same among the groups. The clear difference was how long the implant lasted without coming loose. The Coonrad-Morrey implant had the best results. The authors say this implant prevents dislocation without increasing the risk of coming loose.

References: Christopher P. Little, FRCS (TR & ORTH), et al. Outcomes of Total Elbow Arthroplasty for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Comparative Study of Three Implants. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. November 2005. Vol. 87-A. No. 11. Pp. 2439-2447.