Total Elbow Arthroplasty

Lee Hunter MD, MBA

Hunter Medical Founder and Chief Medical Officer

Total Elbow Arthroplasty (TEA) is a very reliable procedure to improve pain and restore function in cases of severe arthritis, complex elbow fractures in select patients, and even unstable elbows that have failed prior stabilization procedures. TEA is gaining in popularity as techniques improve and outcomes are validated. Supine patient positioning is ideal for these procedures.




The patient had chronic rheumatoid arthritis, with progressive left elbow disease despite appropriate medical management including biologic agents. Her right elbow joint remained relatively well preserved.

The Procedure

   The patient was positioned supine utilizing the ElbowLOC® Arm Positioning System. A standard posterior approach was made. The triceps insertion was reflected laterally. The procedure was performed by one surgeon with two surgical technicians. The procedure was uncomplicated, with a total procedural time (patient in the room > patient out of the room) of 1 hour and 10 minutes. The patient had a planned overnight stay, and was discharged home the next day. Her postoperative course and rehab were unremarkable, with excellent range of motion and pain relief achieved.

Supine patient positioning is ideal for TEA from both a surgical exposure and visualization standpoint. Additionally, many of these patients have medical comorbidities that make turning the patient lateral or prone undesirable. The unique ability of the ElbowLOC® to hold the humerus stable vertically, while allowing the surgeon unrestricted control of the elbow and forearm makes elbow arthroplasty technically easier and accelerates these procedural times significantly.

This case is another great example of how the ElbowLOC® simplifies and expedites many elbow surgeries and makes surgery easier for the surgeon, patient, and staff!