Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:237–41.

Arthroscopic debridement in the treatment of patients with osteoarthritis of the elbow, based on computer simulation

J. Miyake, K. Shimada, K. Oka, H. Tanaka, K. Sugamoto, H. Yoshikawa, T. Murase

We retrospectively assessed the value of identifying impinging osteophytes using dynamic computer simulation of CT scans of the elbow in assisting their arthroscopic removal in patients with osteoarthritis of the elbow. A total of 20 patients were treated (19 men and one woman, mean age 38 years (19 to 55)) and followed for a mean of 25 months (24 to 29). We located the impinging osteophytes dynamically using computerised three-dimensional models of the elbow based on CT data in three positions of flexion of the elbow. These were then removed arthroscopically and a capsular release was performed.


The mean loss of extension improved from 23° (10° to 45°) pre-operatively to 9° (0° to 25°) post-operatively, and the mean flexion improved from 121° (80° to 140°) pre-operatively to 130° (110° to 145°) post-operatively. The mean Mayo Elbow Performance Score improved from 62 (30 to 85) to 95 (70 to 100) post-operatively. All patients had pain in the elbow pre-operatively which disappeared or decreased post-operatively. According to their Mayo scores, 14 patients had an excellent clinical outcome and six a good outcome; 15 were very satisfied and five were satisfied with their post-operative outcome.


We recommend this technique in the surgical management of patients with osteoarthritis of the elbow.

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