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Impaction Grafting in Revision Total Elbow Arthroplasty Due to Aseptic Loosening and Bone Loss
Yong Girl Rhee, MD1; Nam Su Cho, MD1; Chong Suck Parke, MD1
1 Shoulder & Elbow Clinic, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-702, South Korea. E-mail address for Y.G. Rhee: shoulderrhee@hanmail.net. E-mail address for N.S. Cho: nscos1212@empas.com. E-mail address for C.S. Parke: haptol@hanmail.net
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Investigation performed at the Shoulder & Elbow Clinic, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea

Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 Jun 05;95(11):e74 1-7. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.K.01737
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With the increase in the number of total elbow arthroplasties being performed, there has been a parallel increase in revision surgery. There is limited information about the outcome of impaction grafting following failed elbow arthroplasty.


We retrospectively analyzed sixteen cases of revision arthroplasty performed following aseptic loosening of a semiconstrained total elbow replacement. There were three men and thirteen women with a mean age of 58.4 years (range, twenty-eight to seventy-five years). Fourteen elbows had loosening of both the humeral and the ulnar component, and two elbows had only humeral loosening. Two elbows had perforation of the humeral cortex by the humeral component, and one had perforation of the ulnar cortex. Grade-II bone loss as described by King et al. was found in three elbows; grade III, in six elbows; and grade IV, in seven elbows. The impaction grafting was performed with only allograft in thirteen elbows, and it was done with allograft as well as autograft from the iliac crest in the other three elbows. The mean duration of follow-up was 7.4 years (range, 4.1 to 11.2 years).


The mean Mayo Elbow Performance Score (MEPS) for pain significantly improved from 15.0 points preoperatively to 32.8 points at the time of latest follow-up (p = 0.003). The mean arc of flexion also significantly increased, from 60.3° to 115.6° (p < 0.01). Stability according to the MEPS significantly increased from a mean of 2.2 points to a mean of 9.4 points (p = 0.001). The mean total MEPS improved from 41.0 points to 82.8 points (p = 0.001). The result was excellent for four elbows, good for eleven, and fair for one. Follow-up radiographs demonstrated fifteen cases with grade-I resorption of the bone graft and one case with grade-II resorption. A type-I radiolucent line was observed in twelve of the elbows; type II, in three; and type IV, in one. Additional surgery was required in two cases.


Impaction grafting is an effective technique when revision total elbow arthroplasty is used for the treatment of aseptic loosening with bone loss.

Level of Evidence: 

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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