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Total Elbow Arthroplasty After Resection of Tumors at the Elbow

Sperling, John, W.; Pritchard, Douglas, J.; Morrey, Bernard, F.

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: October 1999 - Volume 367 - Issue - p 256–261

Between 1980 and 1993,13 patients underwent total elbow arthroplasty at the authors' institution after resection of tumors around the elbow. Arc of elbow motion from extension to flexion improved from a preoperative mean of 29° to a postoperative mean of 73°. Pain scores decreased from a preoperative mean of 3.6 to a postoperative mean of 2.0. Three patients had an excellent, six had a good, two had a fair, and two had a poor result. All seven patients with primary tumors had good or excellent results, compared with only two of six patients with metastatic lesions to the elbow. The data from this study suggest total elbow arthroplasty after resection of tumors provides significant pain relief and improvement in function. Patients with metastatic lesions may be candidates for the procedure, especially if all other methods of palliation have been exhausted. However, the results for patients with metastatic lesions may not be satisfactory.

From the Department of Orthopedics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.