Coronoid reconstruction with an osteochondral radial head graft

Enrico Bellato, Roberto Rotini, Alessandro Marinelli, Enrico Guerra, Shawn W. O'Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Chronic coronoid deficiency can occur subsequent to coronoid fracture malunion/nonunion or to coronoid hypoplasia or dysplasia resulting from injury during development. Several surgical options have been described to treat this difficult condition, but results are equivocal. We hypothesized that a modified coronoid reconstruction using a radial head osteochondral graft could restore elbow stability and congruity and that a technique involving rigid internal fixation would promote graft union. Methods: The coronoid was reconstructed using an osteochondral fragment from a frozen allograft radial head in 3 young women affected by complex post-traumatic elbow instability and incongruity resulting from coronoid deficiency. To promote bone healing, the fragment was kept as large as could be fitted in place, the cut surface compressed onto the remaining coronoid was as large as possible, the medial portion of the radial head (containing dense bone) was used, and 3 lag screws were inserted in different directions. Results: At a mean follow-up of 26 months, all 3 patients achieved a painless, congruent stable joint with a functional range of motion. Computed tomography scans performed 3 months after surgery showed complete union of the graft in all the patients. Each patient rated herself as "almost normal" or "greatly improved" on the Subjective Outcome Determination scale. Conclusion: Coronoid reconstruction with a radial head osteochondral allograft was successful in restoring stability and function in chronically unstable elbows with coronoid deficiency. Strong fixation using a large segment of the medial radial head achieved rapid graft healing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016


  • Case Series
  • Coronoid deficiency
  • Coronoid reconstruction
  • Graft union
  • Level IV
  • Osteochondral graft
  • Posttraumatic elbow incongruity
  • Posttraumatic elbow instability
  • Radial head
  • Treatment Study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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