Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Biomedical Engineering


Jim Johnson


A number of commercially available radial head (RH) implants are used for the management of RH fractures. The optimal shape of a RH implant to restore joint mechanics to the native state has not been established. This work compares radiocapitellar contact and kinematics for three implant designs as well as the native RH. These implants include an axisymmetric, a quasi-anatomic and a patient-specific design. When compared to the native RH, only the axisymmetric implant was significantly different in contact area (p=0.008). Active and passive forearm supination was assessed for differences in translations of the RH. Significant differences were found in anterior-posterior translations during active forearm supination between the axisymmetric implant and the native RH (p=0.014) and between the quasi-anatomic implant and native RH (p=0.019). This work demonstrates that while an anatomic implant slightly improves radiocapitellar contact and kinematics, future efforts are needed to optimize the materials employed in these devices.