Elbow arthrodesis: a novel technique and review of the literature

Orthopedics. 2014 May;37(5):313-9. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20140430-04.


The elbow is a complex joint that is the mechanical link in the upper extremity between the hand and the shoulder. Loss of elbow function can severely affect activities of daily living. Arthrodesis of the elbow results in greater functional disability than arthrodesis of the ankle, hip, or knee joints. Arthrodesis is mainly performed for severe joint destruction most commonly due to posttraumatic arthrosis, instability, or infection. The authors describe a new technique of elbow arthrodesis using a step-cut osteotomy that has not been previously reported. They believe that this can increase the surface area for healing with the outcome of a higher fusion rate. It is most important, however, to achieve good compression with lag screws across the fusion site after the desired angled has been achieved. Elbow arthrodesis is not a common orthopedic procedure, but the authors believe that their novel technique provides a reproducible and reliable way to achieve a high fusion rate and desired fusion angle.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthrodesis / methods*
  • Elbow Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Elbow Joint / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Humeral Fractures / complications
  • Humeral Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Humeral Fractures / surgery*
  • Joint Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Joint Diseases / surgery*
  • Radiography
  • Reoperation
  • Young Adult