Interposition arthroplasty

C. Ball, M. Meunier, L. M. Galatz, K. Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Providing treatment for the young patient with significant elbow pain and restricted motion remains an unsolved problem. The wear and loosening concerns of total elbow joint replacement in this high-demand group makes it an option in only select cases. Arthrodesis is a salvage procedure that can be considered in patients who need a strong and stable joint, but the removal of all elbow motion results in significant functional disability. Resection of the elbow joint is also only rarely indicated. Interposition arthroplasty, in contrast, offers a reasonable alternative for these patients because it attempts to relieve pain and improve motion by placing a tissue barrier between the bone ends of the elbow joint. The ideal candidate is a young patient with post-traumatic arthritis who is experiencing incapacitating pain and loss of motion, despite non-surgical or arthroscopic measures. With appropriate patient selection and careful surgical technique, a high degree of satisfaction can be expected in pain relief and range of motion. However, patients must be willing to accept the limitations involved, and complications are not infrequent, which must be considered before undertaking this procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Arthroplasty
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


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