Elbow Arthritis

You may not realize the important role that your elbow plays in every day life until you start to experience pain in this joint. Elbow arthritis is frequently caused by a previous injury. If you are experiencing pain in your elbow when you bend it, and even when you straighten it to carry something, you may be suffering from elbow arthritis.

Painful Partial Joint Replacement - Radial Head Replacement

A MRI of an elbow with metal inserted

Radial head replacement is when something from the upper part of the radius bone or radial head is broken into many pieces and cannot be put together and would not respond well to casting. It can result in problems in itself. Radial head replacement has been available for over 40 years and I think in slightly different form in the last few years. The implant must be put in perfectly. It is loose and the bone is impacted in there will be pain from that. If it is placed in too tightly it may cause premature wear on the opposing cartilage of the humerus resulting in pain. Infection could be present. The implant itself could just be the wrong size abutting adjacent tissue. Most radial head replacements are beneficial. Excessive immobilization, i.e. being held too long in one position for healing either because one can’t tolerate some minor discomfort that is usually experienced with the surgery or because of the surgeon’s preference, may result in permanent loss of motion. It is best whenever possible to be able to keep the bone or cartilage and not have to do an artificial replacement.