Background: Primary reconstruction of the lateral collateral ligament complex (LCLC) using graft tissue restores elbow stability in many, but not all, elbows with acute or chronic posterolateral rotatory instability (PLRI). Revision reconstruction using a tendon allograft is occasionally considered for persistent PLRI, but the outcome of revision ligament reconstruction in this setting is largely unknown. Questions/purposes: We determined whether revision allograft ligament reconstruction can (1) restore the stability and (2) result in improved elbow scores for patients with persistent PLRI of the elbow after a previous failed primary reconstructive attempt and in the context of the diverse pathology being addressed. Methods: Between 2001 and 2011, 160 surgical elbow procedures were performed at our institution for the LCLC reconstruction using allograft tissue. Only patients undergoing revision allograft reconstruction of the LCLC for persistent PLRI with a previous failed primary reconstructive attempt using graft tissue and at least I year of followup were included in the study. Eleven patients (11 elbows) fulfilled our inclusion criteria and formed our study cohort. The cohort consisted of six female patients and five male patients. The mean age at the time of revision surgery was 36 years (range, 14-59 years). The revision allograft reconstruction was carried out after a mean of 3 years (range, 2.5 months to 9 years) from a failed attempted reconstruction of the LCLC. Osseous deficiency to some extent was identified in the preoperative radiographs of eight elbows. Mean followup was 5 years (range, 1-12 years). Results: Revision allograft reconstruction of the LCLC restored elbow stability in eight of the 11 elbows; two of the three elbows with persistent instability were operated on a third time (at 6 and 7 months after allograft revision reconstruction). For elbows with no persistent instability, the mean Mayo Elbow Performance Score at most recent followup was 83 points (range, 60-100 points), and six elbows were rated with a good or excellent result. All patients with persistent instability had some degree of preoperative bone loss. Conclusions: Revision allograft reconstruction of the LCLC is an option for treating recurrent PLRI, although this is a complex and resistant problem, and nearly 1/2 of the patients in this cohort either had persistent instability and/or had a fair or poor elbow score. Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine