BACKGROUND: Chronic hemophilic synovitis of the elbow usually leads to enlargement and erosion of the radial head, resulting in mechanical blockage of forearm rotation, synovial impingement, recurrent hemarthrosis, and pain. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the intermediate-term results of radial head excision and synovectomy in a large group of patients with hemophilia who had been managed at a single institution.
METHODS: Information on forty radial head excision and synovectomy procedures that had been performed at our institution from 1969 to 2004 was retrospectively collected. All but one of the operations had been performed in patients with severe hemophilia. The mean age of the patients at the time of the procedure was thirty-three years. Pain, limited range of motion, and bleeding were the indications for surgery. The mean duration of follow-up was 7.7 years.
RESULTS: Only one postoperative complication was observed: a posterior interosseous nerve palsy that fully resolved by six months. No additional surgical intervention for bleeding was required in sixteen of the nineteen elbows in which bleeding was one of the indications for surgery. Of the forty elbows, seven required a secondary surgical procedure at a mean of five years after the excision of the radial head. Examination of the mean range of motion at the time of the latest follow-up demonstrated a 63° increase in the pronation-supination arc (p < 0.00001) but only a 2° increase in the flexion arc.
CONCLUSIONS: Radial head excision in patients with hemophilia is an effective procedure for improving forearm rotation and reducing pain and bleeding frequency, with a low risk of complications.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
ORIGINAL ABSTRACT CITATION:“Radial Head Excision and Synovectomy in Patients with Hemophilia” (2007;89:2156-62).
The original scientific article in which the surgical technique was presented was published in JBJS Vol. 89-A, pp. 2156-62, October 2007
DISCLOSURE: The authors did not receive any outside funding or grants in support of their research for or preparation of this work. Neither they nor a member of their immediate families received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, division, center, clinical practice, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors, or a member of their immediate families, are affiliated or associated.
Investigation performed at the Hemophilia Treatment Center, Orthopaedic Hospital, Los Angeles, California
- Copyright © 2008 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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