Radial Head Fixation vs Replacement in Terrible Triad: Preliminary Results of a Prospective Cohort Study with Patient Reported Outcome.

Citation:
Afifi, A., A. M. Lymona, and S. Galal, "Radial Head Fixation vs Replacement in Terrible Triad: Preliminary Results of a Prospective Cohort Study with Patient Reported Outcome.", Indian journal of orthopaedics, vol. 54, issue Suppl 2, pp. 254-259, 2020.

Abstract:

Introduction: The combination of posterior elbow dislocation, radial head fracture, and coronoid fracture has been named "terrible triad" as this injury is difficult to treat and yield poor outcomes. Some studies compared the results of radial head fixation to replacement in isolated radial head fractures, very few reports have tried to compare both treatment modalities in the setting of a terrible triad injury.The aim of this study was to compare the functional outcome of radial head fixation vs replacement in terrible triad injuries of the elbow.

Methods: A single-center, prospective cohort study was conducted at an academic Level 1 Trauma Center from April 2016 to April 2019.A total of 30 patients with terrible triad injury of the elbow were enrolled. The primary outcome was the Quick Disability of Arm, Shoulder and Hand (Quick-DASH) at 1 year. The secondary outcomes were to report the Mayo Elbow Performance Score (MEPS) at 1 year and elbow range of motion.

Results: At final follow up for each patient (13.4 ± 1.2 months) The Quick-DASH score at 1 year for fixation group was 5 ± 2.3, for the replacement group it was 7.1 ± 7.1. The MEPS at 1 year for fixation group was 93.6 ± 8.4, for the replacement group it was 90.9 ± 9.4.Loss of elbow extension at 1 year for fixation group was 17.1° ± 10.7°, for replacement group it was 18.75° ± 11.5°.

Conclusion: A systematic approach to address the bony and soft tissue components of terrible triad elbow injury is crucial to obtain satisfactory outcome. Our study shows that radial head repair and replacement, in the setting of terrible triad injury, yields comparable results.

Level of evidence: Level II, Therapeutic study.

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