Survivorship of anatomic press-fit short-stem radial head replacement with a pyrocarbon bearing

Aparna I. Viswanath*, Adam C. Watts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Restoring the radial head as a stabiliser of the elbow is considered important in cases where there is an associated bony or ligamentous injury. A variety of radial head prostheses are available. There are no reports of the survivorship of a short-stem press-fit radial head prostheses with pyrocarbon bearing. Patients and methods: With institutional review board approval, a retrospective case-note analysis was performed of a consecutive single-surgeon case series of the Integra LifeScience pyrocarbon radial head prostheses (Carbon Modular Radial Head) from October 2010 to October 2019 in a tertiary referral centre. The series was divided into acute trauma and salvage cohorts. Kaplan–Meier survivorship analysis was conducted. Results: 36 patients were included, 23 (64%) for acute injuries and 13 (36%) for failed initial treatment. Of the acute injuries, 20 (87%) had a Wrightington type-C elbow fracture-dislocation. Reoperation was performed in 4 (11%) patients; 10 (28%) had possible loosening on radiographs. The implant survival rate was 94% at shortest follow-up of 17 months (mean 70 months). Discussion: Treatment of complex radial head fractures using a pyrocarbon-bearing, anatomic press-fit design provides satisfactory short-term survivorship in this case series. The implant should be used with caution in salvage cases, due to higher rates of loosening seen in this cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-433
Number of pages8
JournalShoulder and Elbow
Issue number4
Early online date17 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022


  • elbow fracture-dislocation
  • Fracture
  • press-fit
  • pyrocarbon
  • radial head
  • radial head arthroplasty


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