AP and lateral films are obtained in the recovery room or prior to discharge. These baseline studies are used for future comparison to follow up studies to document stability of prosthesis.
Initial radiographs are scrutinized for:
- Humeral and ulnar stems should align with the long axis of the bone
- Humeral and ulnar components show normal articulation without evidence of dislocation
- Intraoperative fractures
- Cement technique
- Cement should oat the prosthesis stems without extravasation into soft tissues
- Intraoperative fractures or osteopenic bone increase risk of cement leak which may damage radial or ulnar nerves.
- Foreign bodies/retained surgical instruments
Baseline AP and lateral radiographs in patient with total elbow replacement. The alignment of the prosthetic stems is normal, paralleling the long axis of their respective long bones. Cement technique is appropriate without extravasation into the surrounding soft tissues. There is no periprosthetic fracture