Functional outcomes post-radial head arthroplasty: a systematic review of literature
Shoulder and Elbow
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© 2014 The British Elbow & Shoulder Society. Background: The present study was conducted to determine the quality and content of research on the functional outcomes and complications post-metal radial head arthroplasty (RHAP). Methods: A comprehensive search of medical databases for studies reporting on functional outcomes of patients undergoing metallic RHAP was conducted. The Structured Effectiveness Quality Evaluation Scale (SEQES) was used to evaluate quality of the studies. Results: We identified 21 Sackett’s Level IV studies reporting on 391 radial heads. The mean duration of follow-up was 47.2 months and the mean (SD) age of patients was 48.4 years (6.9 years). The male to female ratio was found to be 1.05 : 1 and the dominant arm was involved in 54% of patients. When functional outcomes achieved post-RHAP were compared with normative scores, the comparison suggested that RHAP has good to excellent functional outcomes in short- to mid-term follow-up. The weighted mean (SD) Mayo Elbow Performance Score was 85.8 (4.1) (95% confidence interval 85.3 to 86.3). Incidences of implant removal (3.06%) and revision (2.22%) were found to be low. Conclusions: There is consistent low-quality evidence of positive functional outcomes following RHAP. The heterogeneity of type of implant, patient characteristics and outcome measures used, along with an inadequate reporting of study details, restrict any definitive conclusions being made.