International Orthopaedics

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 1421–1427 | Cite as

Clinical results of revision total elbow arthroplasty: comparison of infected and non-infected total elbow arthroplasty

  • Jae-Man Kwak
  • Erica Kholinne
  • Yucheng Sun
  • Myung-Sun Kim
  • Kyoung-Hwan Koh
  • In-Ho JeonEmail author
Original Paper



Total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) is considered a successful treatment for several conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and comminuted fractures. However, failure rates as high as 62% have been reported, with many patients requiring surgical revision. Causes of failure requiring revision can be classified as infected or non-infected. This study evaluated the clinical and radiologic outcomes of TEA revision surgery according to causes of failure.


Twenty patients undergoing revision TEAs in 2010–2015 were retrospectively evaluated. Mean follow-up was 52.7 months. Patients were categorized into infected and non-infected groups based on radiologic and serologic tests. Clinical outcomes included range of motion (ROM) and Mayo Elbow Performance Score (MEPS), and radiological outcomes included loosening signs on anteroposterior (AP) and lateral plain radiographs at final follow-up. Complications were assessed in both groups.


Overall, mean MEPS was 79.7, and mean ROM arc was 97.9° at final follow-up. Nine patients underwent revision due to infection, and 11 due to non-infectious causes. Mean MEPS in these two groups was 75.6 and 83.5, respectively, and mean ROM arc for flexion-extension was 89.4° and 108°, respectively. Two (22%) of the nine patients in the infection group required second revision surgery due to recurrent infection. No patient in the non-infected group underwent second revision surgery. The most frequent complication in the infected group was osteolysis, observed in five patients, including four with symptomatic aseptic loosening and one with non-symptomatic osteolysis. Two patients in the non-infected group demonstrated a non-progressive radiolucent line, which was asymptomatic at final follow-up.


Revision TEA provided clinical improvement in elbow function and resulted in satisfactory outcomes. Outcomes were worse in the infected than in the non-infected groups. Comorbidities and older age were apparent risk factors for infected TEA.


Revision Total elbow arthroplasty Infection TEA 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jae-Man Kwak
    • 1
  • Erica Kholinne
    • 2
  • Yucheng Sun
    • 1
  • Myung-Sun Kim
    • 3
  • Kyoung-Hwan Koh
    • 1
  • In-Ho Jeon
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Asan Medical Center, College of MedicineUlsan UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic SurgerySt. Carolus HospitalJakartaIndonesia
  3. 3.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryChonnam National University HospitalDong-guSouth Korea

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