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Acta ortopédica mexicana

versión impresa ISSN 2306-4102


BUSTAMANTE-RECUENCO, D et al. Mid-term complications of the monopolar, modular radial head prosthesis. Acta ortop. mex [online]. 2019, vol.33, n.2, pp.73-80.  Epub 28-Mayo-2021. ISSN 2306-4102.


The objective of this study is to assess the type, frequency and severity of complications after the implantation of the modular monopolar radial head prosthesis.

Material and methods:

Forty-seven patients with 48 radial head prostheses implanted between 2009 and 2017 were reviewed retrospectively. Patients were evaluated clinical and radiographically for a mean follow-up of 43.55 months (range: 12-89).


The same type of prosthesis was implanted in every patient (Ascension Modular Radial Head). The average score in the Mayo Elbow Performance Score was 88.29 ± 9.9 points. During the follow-up, three patients (6.25%) suffered from continuous pain. Twelve cases (25.5%) showed radiological oversizing, though only five were symptomatic. Heterotopic ossification was detected in twenty-seven cases (57.4%). Eleven patients (23.4%) developed postoperative stiffness. Nineteen cases (40.42%) showed periprosthetic osteolysis, from which seven were symptomatic. Thirteen patients (27%) developed surgery-related complications: three cases of infection, four cases of symptomatic loosening, two neurapraxies, one instability and three cases of oversizing with associated stiffness. Nine patients (18.75%) required reintervention.


Our study obtains a 27% of overall complications, mostly related to oversizing and prosthetic loosening, and 19% of reinterventions. These results are similar to those presented in previous studies, with variations depending on the time of follow-up. Further research is also required to evaluate long-term results and the potential progression of the radiographic findings.


Taken together, these data stress the need for improvement in both the surgical technique and the design of the implants.

Palabras llave : Elbow; radial head arthroplasty; fracture; complications.

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