Elbow Release and Tricepsplasty in Arthrogrypotic Patients: A Long-Term Follow-Up Study

Jue Cao, Chris Stutz, Terri Beckwith, Anna Browning, Janith Mills, Scott N. Oishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Obtaining elbow flexion to improve hand-to-mouth reach capability is an essential component of achieving functional independence in pediatric patients with arthrogryposis. This study analyzed the long-term outcomes of elbow release and tricepsplasty in a series of children with arthrogryposis at a tertiary institution. Methods: Medical records of patients with arthrogryposis who underwent elbow release and tricepsplasty from 1993 to 2015, with at least 2 years of follow-up, were reviewed. Collected measures included preoperative elbow passive range of motion (ROM), postoperative elbow passive and active ROM, shoulder passive and active ROM, and Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI) scores. Our analysis compared pre- and postoperative follow-up of elbow passive ROM and reviewed PODCI scores with age-adjusted normative values. Results: Seventeen patients (4 female and 13 male) with 24 affected upper extremities (10 left elbow and 14 right elbow) were included in final analysis. Age at final follow-up averaged 11 years (range, 4–20 years), mean age at surgery was 2.7 years (range, 9.6 months–9.3 years) with mean follow-up by extremity at 8.3 years (range, 2–18 years). Differences in pre- and post-operative passive elbow ROM were significant for extension, flexion, and total arc of motion. Most parent and self-reported PODCI scores were less than the age-adjusted normal population, except in the domains of Comfort and Pain and Happiness. Conclusion: Long-term follow-up of elbow release and tricepsplasty in patients with arthrogryposis indicates both increased and sustained elbow flexion and arc of motion. Although PODCI scores were lower compared with the age-adjusted norm, pediatric patients with arthrogryposis were just as happy and had no more discomfort than their unaffected age-adjusted norms. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549.e1-549.e7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Arthrogryposis
  • congenital
  • elbow release
  • pediatrics
  • tricepsplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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