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MINERVA ORTOPEDICA E TRAUMATOLOGICA
A Journal on Orthopedics and Traumatology
Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2004 October;55(5):131-44
Current Status of TEA. Evaluation and current status of elbow joint replacement
Morrey B. F.
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA
Today total elbow implant design concepts are termed either linked (coupled or unlinked). Either linkage system is further defined as possessing more or less constraint at the articular interface. Both the linked and the unlinked total elbow designs have proven reliable for the management of inflammatory arthritis. Satisfactory outcomes in approximately 90% of patients is dependent more on the degree of constraint than on whether the articulation is coupled or uncoupled. The linked implants are selectively preferred for the management of posttraumatic and revision conditions. Reliable treatment of distal humeral C-3 comminuted fractures is the fastest growing indication for the linked device with satisfactory outcomes being reported from numerous investigators averaging approximately 95% at 5 years. Overall the complication rate of total elbow arthroplasty remains at approximately 20%, however, only approximately half of these will have a problem that compromises outcome. The current designs of total elbow arthroplasty have proven to be an effective means of managing a spectrum of elbow pathology. The expected outcome is, however, directly, related to implant design.