Elbow arthroscopy is considered to be a difficult procedure with a high complication rate. These two disadvantages are due to the proximity of neurovascular structures.
The aim of our study was to evaluate the efficacy and complication rate of a new elbow arthroscopy technique without anteromedial portals. This approach was taken because of the high rate of ulnar nerve damage using the medial portal, and the difficulty of performing triangulation of opposite portals in a patient in the lateral decubitus position.
Material and methods
Fifteen patients were operated on by the same surgeon between 2010 and 2012. Range of motion and the “MEPS” elbow score were calculated preoperatively and at the final postoperative follow-up. The average age of patients was 38.3 years. The follow-up was 11.1 months. Personal portals (high anterolateral and intermediate anterolateral portals) were used instead of the anteromedial portals.
Elbow flexion increased from 113° preoperatively to 129° at the final follow-up (P=0.009). Extension increased from −33° to −10° (P<0.0001). The preoperative and final postoperative “MEPS” scores were 56.3 and 94 respectively (P<0.0001). Two patients (13.3%) had radial nerve palsy with complete recovery 6 and 9months after surgery.
The rate of nerve complications following elbow arthroscopy varies from 0 to 14%. The rate in our series (13.3%) is comparable to the results of the literature. This rate should be placed in perspective (since one patient had multiple open surgery elbow operations before arthroscopy). All complications were transient. Improved elbow range of motion in our study is consistent with the results in literature.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Elbow, Arthroscopy, Portals, Complications