Shingo Nobuta, Katsumi Sato and Eiji Itoi
Objective: Symptomatic elbow osteoarthritis with painful limitation of motion requires surgical treatment. The purpose of this retrospective study was to assess the long-term results of open ulnohumeral arthroplasty (UHA) and to investigate the factors influencing results.
Methods: Twenty-two elbows from 20 patients were evaluated after a mean follow-up of 82 months. The patients included 19 men and a woman with a mean age of 56 years. All patients had been complaining of motion pain and loss of flexion-extension arc of the elbow before surgery. The preoperative radiographs were graded with a point system, and preoperative evaluations and the outcomes at follow-up were assessed using the Mayo Elbow Performance Score (MEPS).
Results: At the final follow-up evaluation, ten elbows had no motion pain and 11 others had decreased pain. The average preoperative flexion-extension arc improved from 89 to 104 postoperatively (p<0.001). MEPS improved from 69 to 85 (p<0.001). The results were excellent in 10 elbows, good in 10, fair in two and there were no poor cases. Patients’ satisfaction showed that 17 elbows had a satisfactory result, and 5 had an unsatisfactory result. The preoperative radiographic score and flexion-extension arc were factors for predicting postoperative results.
Conclusions: The UHA was effective in reducing pain and increasing the range of motion for symptomatic elbow osteoarthritis after a mean follow-up of 82 months.