Between 1995 and 2006, five intra-articular osteotomies of the head of the radius were performed in patients with symptomatic healed displaced articular fractures. Pre-operatively, all patients complained of persistent painful clicking on movement. Only patients with mild or no degenerative changes of the radial head and capitellum were considered for osteotomy. The operations were performed at a mean of 8.2 months (4 to 13) after injury and the patients were reviewed at a mean of 5.5 years (15 months to 12 years) after the osteotomy.
The average Mayo Elbow Performance Index Score improved significantly from 74 before to 88 after operation, with four patients rated as good or excellent (p < 0.05). The subjective patient satisfaction score was 8.4 on a ten-point scale. All osteotomies healed and there were no complications.
In this small series intra-articular osteotomy of the head of the radius was a safe and effective treatment for symptomatic intra-articular malunion without advanced degenerative changes.