Published online Jan 18, 2016. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v7.i1.44
Peer-review started: May 30, 2015
First decision: August 4, 2015
Revised: October 13, 2015
Accepted: November 3, 2015
Article in press: November 4, 2015
Published online: January 18, 2016
The elbow joint is a complex joint, which, when impaired in function, leads to severe disability. In some cases however, an arthroplasty might be an appropriate treatment. In the past four decades, large steps have been taken to optimize this treatment in order to achieve better post-operative outcomes. To understand these progresses and to discover aspects for upcoming improvements, we present a review on the past developments, the present state of affairs and future developments which may improve patient care further.
Core tip: Total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) is a relatively uncommon surgical procedure, performed in selected cases of incapacitating elbow diseases. In the past four decades, TEA has evolved from an experimental procedure to a reliable option, which is still more frequently performed. We believe it is necessary to understand the history of the development of TEA in order to accomplish further improvements. In this review we focus on the evolution of the elbow arthroplasty, from a historic overview, up to the present and address issues that could improve the clinical outcome in today’s practice.