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Minimally Invasive Surgery
Volume 2011, Article ID 798084, 5 pages
Review Article

The Arthroscopic Ulnohumeral Arthroplasty: From Mini-Open to Arthroscopic Surgery

Department of Orthopaedics, University Hospitals Leuven, Pellenberg Campus, Weligerveld 1, 3212 Pellenberg, Belgium

Received 7 September 2010; Accepted 2 May 2011

Academic Editor: Federico P. Girardi

Copyright © 2011 Ilse Degreef and Luc De Smet. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In cubarthritis—osteoarthritis of the elbow—surgical procedures may be considered to debride the elbow joint to reduce pain, to increase mobility, and to postpone joint replacement surgery. The ulnohumeral arthroplasty as described by Outerbridge and Kashiwagi was originally introduced to debride both anterior and posterior elbow compartments through a direct posterior mini-open approach. To achieve this, a distal humeral fenestration throughout the humeral fossa is performed. Although with an elbow arthroscopy, a technique that was obviously developed later on, all compartments can be easily visualized. The arthroscopic fenestration of the humerus preserves its advantages, with good clinical results focused on pain relief and gaining mobility. On top, future elbow joint locking based on degenerative loose bodies can be prevented. Therefore, this surgery is often done in young, more active patients and even in sportsmen. These patients, however, need to be prompted to restrict loading on the elbow in the immediate postoperative period, because the elbow is biomechanically weakened and may be prone to a fracture. However, both outcome and postoperative rehabilitation are promising and the arthroscopic Outerbridge procedure is a reliable procedure with an easy rehabilitation. Therefore, the threshold is relatively low in early cubarthritis and recurrent locking of the elbow. In this paper, we present a literature review and the author's experience and own research on the Outerbridge procedure.