Background: Minimal micromotion is necessary for osteointegration of cementless radial head prostheses. When radial head fractures extend longitudinally, where the neck cut for prosthetic replacement should be made is uncertain. We hypothesized that complete resection of the notched portion of a radial neck confers no advantage in initial stability compared with not resecting the defect and inserting the implant into a notched radial neck. Materials and methods: The radii of 7 cadavers underwent radial head resection and implantation with a 25-mm-long press-fit radial head stem. Before implantation, a 5-mm-long notch that was less than 1-mm wide was made in the radial neck. After the stem-bone micromotion was recorded, the proximal 5 mm of radial neck, incorporating the entire notch, was cut away, the stem was inserted 5 mm further, and the resulting micromotion was recorded. Results: The mean micromotion measured in the presence of a cortical notch was 51 ± 6 µm. After the neck was circumferentially cut and the stem was advanced, the micromotion (46 ± 9 µm) was not statistically significantly different. Discussion: Initial stability of an adequately sized cementless stem in the presence of a 5-mm-long cortical notch was well within the threshold needed for bone ingrowth (<100 µm). In addition, there was no reduction of micromotion after the notch-containing portion of the radial neck was resected and the stem was advanced. Making a neck cut distal to a 5-mm-long, 1-mm-wide cortical notch does not confer added stability. Thus, surgeons can preserve bone stock and avoid an aggressive neck cut.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine