Micromotion of the Souter-Strathclyde total elbow prosthesis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis - 21 elbows followed for 2 years

ER Valstar, EH Garling, PM Rozing

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    21 elbows in 18 patients with rheumatoid arthritis were treated with a Souter-Strathclyde total elbow prosthesis. 18 elbows were included in a radiostereometry (RSA) study. The aim of this clinical RSA study was to assess the three-dimensional micromotion pattern of the Souter-Strathclyde prosthesis, and thereby gain insight in the aseptic loosening process of this prosthesis. Implants were defined as at risk of aseptic loosening when the translation rate during the second postoperative year was more than 0.4 mm along one or more coordinate axes and/or the rate of rotation was more than 1° about one or more coordinate axes. Clinical examination revealed an increase in the range of motion and a marked reduction in pain. The RSA showed that 8 of 18 humeral components were at risk of aseptic loosening, although no signs of such loosening - defined as a complete radiolucent line of 2 mm or more - were found on the plain radiographs. In 7 humeral components, an anterior tilt about the transverse axis was seen that resulted in an anterior translation of the proximal tip and a posterior translation of the component's trochlea. Long-term studies of the Souter- Strathclyde prosthesis, have shown that this rotation is a specific pattern of failure in some implants. None of the ulnar components was at risk for aseptic loosening. Improvements in fixation of the Souter-Strathclyde total elbow arthroplasty should focus on the humeral component. At present, the lateral flange of the implant is enlarged to improve rotational stability about the transverse and longitudinal axes. The effect of this change in design on micromotion of the Souter-Strathclyde total elbow prosthesis will be studied in a randomized RSA study comparing the new design to the existing one.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)264-272
    Number of pages9
    JournalActa Orthopaedica Scandinavica
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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