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Elbow hemiarthroplasty vs. open reduction internal fixation for acute Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen/Orthopaedic Trauma Association (AO/OTA) type 13C fractures—A systematic review

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Background: Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) is the standard treatment for multifragmentary intra-articular distal humeral fractures. Fractures not amenable by ORIF are treated with total elbow arthroplasty (TEA). In recent years, elbow hemiarthroplasty (EHA) has been used as an alternative to TEA, as weight bearing restrictions and risk of component loosening are lower. We systematically reviewed the literature reporting functional outcomes and complication rates after either EHA or ORIF for Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen/Orthopaedic Trauma Association (AO/OTA) type 13C fractures. Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and Scopus. The inclusion criteria were at least 5 patients, aged ≥50 years, AO/OTA type 13C fracture treated with ORIF or EHA, and evaluation with the Mayo Elbow Performance Score. Literature screening and data extraction were conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. The results were synthesized qualitatively using weighted means. No comparative statistical analyses were done. Results: We included 27 articles, which included 96 patients treated with EHA and 535 patients treated with ORIF. We identified 1 randomized controlled trial and 26 case series. The weighted mean Mayo Elbow Performance Score was 86.9 (n = 89) in the EHA group and 84.7 (n = 535) in the ORIF group. There were 26 (33%) complications (n = 78) in the EHA group and 103 (38%) complications (n = 270) in the ORIF group. Complication rates were generally high in both groups. Conclusion: We found comparable results of EHA and ORIF, which indicate that EHA is a viable treatment option for AO/OTA type 13C fractures not amenable by ORIF. Because of high risk of bias, interpretation of the results should be done with caution.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJSES international
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)713-722
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

    Research areas

  • AO type C, Arthroplasty, Distal humeral fractures, Elbow fractures, Fracture fixation, Level IV, Mayo Elbow Performance Score, Osteosynthesis, Systematic Review, Systematic review

ID: 80634030