Arthroscopy. 2014 Jan;30(1):29-35. 70° frontal visualization of lateral compartment of the elbow allows extensor carpi radialis brevis tendon release with preservation of the radial lateral collateral ligament. (Arrigoni, Fossati, Zottarelli, Brady, Cabitza, Randelli)
To determine whether the radial component of the lateral collateral ligament (R-LCL) and extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) are consistently visible, using a 70° arthroscope, as parallel structures in the extra-articular space of the elbow, and to evaluate the clinical outcomes of these techniques in a series of patients.
An arthroscopic ECRB tendon release was performed between 2008 and 2010. Eighteen patients were retrospectivel
y evaluated at a minimum of 24 months’ follow-up. The surgeon performed the ECRB release while protecting the R-LCL and viewing the structures extra-articularly with a 70° arthroscope through the anteromedial portal. Patients underwent surgery if they presented with localized tenderness and pain not responding to conservative treatment for 12 months and had magnetic resonance imaging scans indicating tendinopathy or degeneration. Arthritis, posterolateral rotatory instability, trauma, and previous surgeries were exclusion criteria. Intraoperative videos were reviewed and a clinical examination was performed by an independent reviewer at 24 months postoperatively. Patients were also evaluated with the Mayo Elbow Performance Score; Andrews-Carson score; and shortened Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire. Direct varus stress was applied in extension and flexion (40°), and the posterolateral pivot-shift and chair tests were performed.
Visualization with the 70° arthroscope through the anteromedial portal was successful in all of the cases (100%). Visualization of the residual ECRB tendon stump, as well as the posterior common extensor tendon, was also achieved 94% of the time. The final mean Mayo Elbow Performance Score and Andrews-Carson score were 82.5 (range, 60 to 100) and 185.3 (range, 125 to 200), respectively. The mean postoperative score on the shortened Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire was 20.14 (range, 5 to 57.5). Clinical tests showed stability in all the cases.
The 70° arthroscope allows visualization of the ECRB insertion and R-LCL frontally and in parallel. A surgical plane could be created between the structures. The clinical outcome was good or excellent in 78% of the cases.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:
Level IV, therapeutic case series.