Introduction: Radial head arthroplasty and open reduction internal fixation are two commonly utilized treatment options for radial head fractures. The purpose of this study is to assess the incidence of and risk factors for short-term complications following radial head arthroplasty and open reduction internal fixation of radial head fractures. Methods: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program was queried to identify patients that underwent radial head arthroplasty or open reduction internal fixation for radial head fractures between January 1st, 2015 and December 31st, 2017. The incidence of various 30-day complications, including unplanned readmission, reoperation, non-home discharge, mortality, surgical/medical complications, and extended length-of-stay were compared between the two propensity matched groups. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify independent risk factors for various short-term complications. Results: After propensity matching, a total of 435 patients were included in our analysis. 250 patients underwent radial head arthroplasty, and 185 patients underwent open reduction internal fixation. Arthroplasty treated patients had a significantly longer mean total operative time (p = .031) and length-of-stay (p = .003). No significant 30-day complications differences were found for unplanned readmission, reoperation, non-home discharge, mortality, surgical complications or medical complications. Independent risk factors for any complications of both procedures included a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and American Society of Anesthesiologists class III. Significant risk factors for length-of-stay greater than two days included a history of bleeding disorder and American Society of Anesthesiologists class III. Conclusion: Our study revealed there were no significant differences in 30-day perioperative surgical or medical complications from either surgical treatment of radial head fractures; however, radial head arthroplasty treated patients were met with a significantly longer length-of-stay and longer duration of operating time. We also identified risk factors that were independently associated with higher rates of complications regardless of treatment type.
- Internal fixation
- Radial head arthroplasty
- Radial head fractures
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine