Biomechanics and Kinematics of Radial Head Replacement Arthroplasty

Radial head fractures occur in up to 33 percent of elbow fractures. Indications for radial head replacement include fractures that are unreconstructible, displaced, comminuted or have associated ligamentous disruption.

Several types of radial head implants — with different head and stem configurations — are currently available. Although such implants have been used clinically for decades, there is much that is not known about the biomechanics and kinematics of radial head prostheses.

Through detailed biomechanical studies, the laboratory of Shawn W. O'Driscoll, M.D., Ph.D., is gaining a better understanding of the forces and factors necessary for elbow stability and function. In turn, this will lead to insights that will improve the approaches used to treat elbow injuries.