Management of the failed radial head arthroplasty

EFORT Open Rev. 2020 Aug 1;5(7):398-407. doi: 10.1302/2058-5241.5.190055. eCollection 2020 Jul.


Primary radial head arthroplasty (RHA) produces good or excellent results in approximately 85% of patients. However, complications are not uncommon and have been described in up to 23% of cases.The number of RHA is increasing, and consequently the absolute number of complications is expected to rise as well. The decision on whether to revise or remove the prosthesis seems more likely to depend on the preference of the surgeon or the hospital, rather than on objectifying problems with the prosthesis.The current article presents an algorithm for the work-up and treatment of most complications that can occur following RHA.Five subgroups of problems were identified: osteoarthritis, stiffness, instability, infection and implant-related issues.In short, the preferred treatment depends mainly on the chondral condition and stability of the elbow joint. Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2020;5:398-407. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.5.190055.

Keywords: arthroplasty; complications; elbow; prosthesis; radial head; revision.

Publication types

  • Review