Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Medical Biophysics


Dr. Graham King

2nd Supervisor

Dr. James Johnson

Joint Supervisor


Distal humeral hemiarthroplasty is a treatment option for fractures, non-unions and avascular necrosis of the distal humerus. Commercially available distal humeral implants are available; however, many unanswered questions remain regarding their role in treatment of distal humeral pathology. The optimal articular shape of the implant has not been defined, the biomechanical effects have not been reported, and contact stresses on native articular cartilage are unknown.

This work has defined the osseous anatomy and anatomic variability of the distal humeral articulation using accurate 3D reconstruction methods. A data bank of distal humeral dimensions has been created and may be effective in the development of future implants. Kinematic investigations have shown small but significant alteration in elbow joint kinematics with placement of a distal humeral hemiarthroplasty.

This work shows that currently available hemiarthroplasty implants may not be anatomically accurate, and may not reproduce native elbow kinematics. Further efforts are needed to create and test more anatomic distal humeral implants.

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