Orthopedic Research Center, Shahid Kamyab Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, IR Iran
Orthopedic Research Center, Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, IR Iran
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, IR Iran
Loss of motion is a well-known complication after elbow trauma and in severe cases, arthrolysis of elbow is the procedure of choice. The posterior approach might have some advantages especially in post-traumatic patients who have undergone the same surgical approach in the past.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the short-term outcomes of elbow arthrolysis through posterior approach. Moreover, we assessed the effect of operation on the patients’ quality of life.
Patients and Methods
During a retrospective-cohort study, the medical records of 14 patients (12 men, two women) whose range of movement had been limited post-traumatically and had undergone elbow arthrolysis with posterior approach were reviewed. Before intervention, the patients had a flexion less than 100 degrees or an extension lag of 30 degrees or more. For evaluation of the final outcomes, they were invited to participate in our study and the final range of motion, visual analogue score (VAS), disability of arm, shoulder and hand (DASH), Mayo elbow score (MES) and short form health survey (SF-36) scores were measured in the patients.
Mean age of the participants was 28.7 years. The interval from initial injury and arthrolysis was 16 months and the patients were followed for 14 months. The mean range of motion in patients before surgery was 35.8 degrees, which was increased to a mean of 108.9 after the surgery, indicating a 73.1 degrees improvement. The means of VAS, DASH, Mayo elbow and SF-36 scores in the patients were 1.6, 34, 68 and 43, respectively. A significant inverse correlation was found between the preoperative range of motion and final range of motion.
According to our results, elbow arthrolysis through posterior approach could be an effective technique with low complications. Since the final range of motion improved significantly, it might be a valuable method in promoting the patients’ quality of life.