Background: Management of posttraumatic radiocapitellar and/or proximal radioulnar joint dysfunction and pain is a challenging problem, often with more than one pathological feature, and to date there are no consistently reliable solutions. The unreliability of prosthetic replacement prompted us to develop an anconeus arthroplasty wherein the anconeus muscle is rotated into the radiocapitellar and/or proximal radioulnar joint.
Methods: Three interposition options were assessed in our laboratory and were employed clinically: interposition at the radiocapitellar joint (Type I), interposition at the radiocapitellar and proximal radioulnar joints (Type II), and proximal radioulnar interposition (wrap) (Type III). The clinical outcomes in fourteen patients who had been treated with one of the three types of anconeus interposition arthroplasty were reviewed at least two years (mean, 6.1 years) postoperatively.
Results: Anatomic dissection of twenty-five specimens revealed that all three applications were possible. Of the fourteen patients, twelve (all six with a Type-I interposition, three of the five with a Type-II interposition, and all three with a Type-III interposition) had a satisfactory overall subjective result. The Mayo Elbow Performance Score averaged 63 points before the surgery and 89 points after it.
Conclusions: Anconeus interpositional arthroplasty offers a reasonable likelihood of improved subjective and objective function in patients with the challenging problem of radiocapitellar and/or proximal radioulnar joint dysfunction and pain after trauma, even when there is Essex-Lopresti axial instability.