TechniquesArthroscopic Radial Head Resection and the Arthroscopic Management of Degenerative Diseases of the ElbowEubanks, Aaron C. MD*; Field, Larry D. MD†Author Information *Sarah Bush Lincoln Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, 1000 Healthcenter Dr Mattoon, IL †Upper Extremity Service, Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Mississippi Medical School, Jackson, MS Reprints: Larry D. Field, MD, Upper Extremity Service, Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Mississippi Medical School, 1325 East Fortification Street, Jackson, MS 39202 (e-mail: [email protected]). Techniques in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery: December 2009 - Volume 10 - Issue 4 - p 146-156 doi: 10.1097/BTE.0b013e3181bb0ff4 Buy Metrics Abstract As the evolution of elbow arthroscopy has improved both instrumentation and technique, elbow surgeries earlier performed in an open manner can now be completed arthroscopically. When indicated, radial head excision can be accomplished using an all-arthroscopic technique. A typical indication for arthroscopic radial head excision is degeneration of the radiocapitellar joint that occurs after a radial head fracture, primary osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis. Arthroscopic excision of the radial head is a safe and effective technique, and it has several potential advantages over open excision. Arthroscopic evaluation of the anterior and posterior compartments allows for identification of loose bodies, effective bony debridement, osteophyte excision, and synovectomy at the time of radial head excision. This paper will review the important anatomic features of the elbow, with special emphasis on the bony and ligamentous anatomy and the contribution that each structure makes to elbow stability. A logical and complete differential diagnosis of elbow pain will be discussed, so that an efficient history may be taken and the physical examination may be used to navigate the signs and symptoms of typical elbow disorders. Specific indications for arthroscopic intervention are discussed, in addition to the contraindications for surgery. The operative technique for an arthroscopic radial head resection is described. Finally, the peer-reviewed results of this technique are presented, which show the safety and efficacy of arthroscopic radial head resection. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.