Eight elbows in six patients who had had excision of the radial head for
congenital dislocation were evaluated an average of seven years
postoperatively. The average age of the patients at the time of the
excision was thirteen years (range, ten to 15.5 years). The dislocation was
posterior in five elbows and posterolateral in three. The over-all increase
in the arc of flexion-extension postoperatively compared with
preoperatively was 11 degrees (p greater than 0.1): The over-all increase
in the arc of rotation was significant at 53 degrees (p less than 0.002).
Pain in the elbow had decreased compared with preoperatively, but all
patients had minor pain in the wrist. The result was rated good in five
elbows, fair in two, and poor in one. One patient had a repeat excision of
the radial head after it re-formed, and this was the reason for the poor
result. All patients were satisfied with the outcome of the operation.
Contrary to previously published data, excision of the radial head for
congenital dislocation resulted in an increased range of motion and a
decrease in pain in the elbow in our patients.