Radial Head Replacement

Radial head replacement is a smaller procedure than a total elbow replacement. The radial is the bone from the elbow to the wrist, with the radial head being just below the elbow. This procedure is performed to replace either an arthritic joint, or after an injury where the radial head is too badly damaged to be repaired. 

The radial head is the part of the joint which is involved in the forearm rotation and can be replaced quite easily by cutting the neck off the bone and inserting a new metal or ceramic head onto a short stem places down the middle of the bone.  The procedure takes approximately fourty-five minutes and involves a short incision on the outside of the elbow. 



Patients are encouraged to mobilise early and restore the movement of the elbow. Post-operative stiffness is a recognised complication of radial head repair. It is not unusual to have an end result with a range of movement of 30 to 130 degrees.  However, the range achieved after replacement surgery is usually sufficient for all day to day activities.