Proximal radius length and radial head diameter as a guide for radial head prosthesis size selection and placement. A pilot study


To determine if there is a relationship between proximal radial length and radial head diameter.


A pilot study.


20 plain AP radiographs of the elbow were selected for this study. Two measurements were made from each x-ray. The radial head diameter (RD); distance between the widest points of the superior aspect of the radial head and the radio-tuberosity distance (RTD); distance between the most superior point of the medial radial head to the midpoint of the bicipital tuberosity of the radius. Mean RD:RTD ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for all patients. Patients were also stratified into various groups based on gender and age.


The mean RD:RTD ratio for all participants was 0.65 with a relatively low standard deviation of 0.04. Indicating a similar relationship between the RD and the RTD for all participants. Moreover the 95% confidence interval for the mean RD:RTD ratio was calculated as 0.63-0.67.


The results of this study do show an apparent relationship between proximal radial length and radial head diameter. It is hoped that further research on the topic will lead to more accurate positioning and sizing of radial head replacements leading to better patient outcomes.


Ahmed Elzubier Ahmed

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