We investigated the effect of simulated muscle loading and the contribution of the radial head to stability of the Norway elbow in 6 cadavers using an electromagnetic tracking device. the kinematics of the elbow after implantation of the prosthesis were similar to the intact elbow in their valgus-varus orientation, however, the forearms were slightly externally rotated, probably due to a small amount of external rotation of the humeral components at the time of implantation. the valgus-varus laxity limit of the implants were greater than in the intact specimens averaging 8.0 and 5.6 degrees, respectively. Simulated muscle loading stabilized both the intact and the Norway elbows. Excision of the radial head after implant arthroplasty increased their valgus-varus laxity, suggesting that preservation of the radial head may be indicated if it is not too severely involved by the underlying disease process. the laxity permitted by the prosthesis articulation is greater than that measured after implantation of the Norway arthroplasty. This suggests that the prosthesis may behave as an unconstrained arthroplasty. This should minimize the stress experienced by the bone-cement interface and may reduce the incidence of loosening. the laxity of the elbows after joint arthroplasty were only slightly greater than normal, possibly explaining the low incidence of prosthesis dislocation which has been observed with clinical use.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine