Painful and unstable elbow joints frequently limit or prohibit the successful use of a normal hand in activities of daily living. Semi-constrained elbow replacement is an alternative to elbow fusion.
This surgical procedure is suited for active people who agree not to hammer, use pneumatic tools and try to avoid any activity that might cause a fracture in a normal elbow due to a fall, such as unprotected roller blading or skate boarding.
Candidates for this procedure are people with severe deterioration due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or the metabolic arthritides in one or both elbows, or in the non-dominant elbows of someone who must perform extreme activities in his or her profession. In the case where one of the arthritic elbows has been previously infected and is not a candidate for joint replacement, the uninfected elbow may be replaced while the only option for the infected elbow is fusion.