Is radial head resection a menace for the clinical outcomes of the elbow for comminuted radial head fractures?

B. Mohan Choudhary, S. Pradeesh Kiswanth, R. Dorai Kumar


Background: Radial head fractures are about 20% of all the elbow fractures. Comminuted radial head fractures can cause great impairment on upper extremity functional status. In older times, radial head resection was the treatment of choice for comminuted radial head fractures. Recently, radial head implant arthroplasty has become popular for fractures that could not be fixed. In this study, we assess the clinical outcomes in patients who underwent Radial head resection in Indian population of the productive age group.

Methods: Prospective study of 15 patients of age more than 18 and less than 50 years of age, who have underwent radial head resection for Mason type III radial head fractures. Outcomes were evaluated according to the Mayo Elbow Performance Score at 3 months, 6 months and at 1 year follow up.

Results: We observed that 80% of our patients were pain free at the end of 1 year and 20% had minimal to moderate pain. About 80% of our patients regained their “functional range” of movements. 12 of our patients had a stable elbow joint and only 3 patients complained of minimal to moderate instability after the procedure. 87% of our patients had a good to excellent functional outcome at the end. The mean Mayo elbow performance score was 92.3 which is graded as excellent and did not have any significant complications to hinder the clinical outcome.

Conclusions: Radial head resection yields a good to excellent clinical results in young Indian population with isolated comminuted radial head fractures.


Comminuted radial head fracture, Mason type III fractures, Radial head resection, Indian population

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