Primäre totale Ellenbogenprothese zur Versorgung distaler Humerusfrakturen

Translated title of the contribution: Primary total elbow replacement for fractures of the distal humerus

Lars Peter Müller, Srinath Kamineni, Pol Maria Rommens, Bernhard F. Morrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Objective: Achieving stability and pain-free function for osteoporotic intraarticular multifragmentary fractures of the distal humerus in elderly patients by primary total elbow replacement (TER). Indications: Non-soft-tissue-attached fragments, poor-quality bone, where stable osteosynthesis is not attainable. Severely comminuted intraarticular closed type C fractures according to the AO classification with multiple small bone/cartilage fragments. In case of degenerative joint diseases and/or previous surgery in rheumatoid patients also type A and B fractures. High compliance, low demand, and old patient > 65 years. Contraindications: Type II or III Gustilo-Anderson open fractures (primary irrigation and debridement). Preexisting infection, open wounds. Younger, high-demand or noncompliant patient. Paralysis of the biceps muscle. Surgical Technique: Supine positioning of patient. Triceps-sparing dorsal approach. Elevation of medial aspect of the triceps from posterior aspect of the humerus and capsula, reflecting the triceps in continuity with the ulnar periosteum and the forearm fascia. If removal of distal part of the humerus, the triceps insertion can be left intact. Preparation of humerus: no reconstruction of multifractured condyles; excavate bone from medial and lateral supracondylar ridges with burr. Preparation of ulna: remove tip of olecranon. Cemented humeral and ulnar components. Bone graft interposition behind anterior flange of humeral component. Resection of radial head and coronoid process, if impingement after trial reduction. Triceps reattachment transosseous through olecranon. Postoperative Management: No formal physical-therapy sessions. Avoid single-event weight lifting of > 5 kg and repetitive lifting of > 1 kg. Discourage playing racquets sports. Results: 49 acute distal humeral fractures in 48 patients (average age: 67 years) were treated with TER. 43 fractures were followed at an average of 7 years. According to the AO classification, five fractures were type A, five type B, and 33 type C. The average flexion arc at follow-up was 24-131°, the Mayo Elbow Performance Score averaged 93. Data of complications were obtained from records in all 49 patients. 32 of the 49 elbows had neither a complication nor any further surgery from the time of the index arthroplasty to the most recent follow-up evaluation. Ten additional operative procedures, including five revision arthroplasties, were required. The retrospective review supports recommendation for TER for the treatment of an acute distal humeral fracture, when strict inclusion criteria are observed.

Translated title of the contributionPrimary total elbow replacement for fractures of the distal humerus
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)119-142
Number of pages24
JournalOperative Orthopadie und Traumatologie
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Distal humerus fracture
  • Elbow replacement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Primary total elbow replacement for fractures of the distal humerus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this