Radial head fractures are fairly common (20% of all traumatic elbow injuries). Patients present with pain, inability to move the injured elbow and instability.
Non-operative treatment is indicated in non-displaced fractures, and direct stable internal fixation allowing early elbow mobilisation in most other cases.
However, for severely comminuted fractures precluding stable fixation, replacement of the radial head serves as a better alternative to simple radial head resection, which can induce instability of the elbow and/or forearm, most notably in patients who have complex fractures with concomitant lesions to other structures.
Studies have demonstrated satisfactory clinical outcomes in up to 80% of cases.