Total elbow arthroplasty: A prospective clinical outcome study of Discovery Elbow System with a 4-year mean follow-up

Omid Alizadehkhaiyat, Ahmed Al Mandhari, Christos Sinopidis, Amanda Wood, Simon Frostick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) is increasingly used for the treatment of advanced elbow conditions to reduce pain and improve function. However, TEA is still associated with a higher complication rate than total hip and knee arthroplasty despite advances in the design and surgical techniques. This prospective clinical study reports the outcome of the Discovery Elbow System (Biomet, Warsaw IN, USA), which has been in clinical use in the United Kingdom since2003. Methods: The study included a total of 100 Discovery Elbows (April 2003 to January 2010) with a minimum 2-year follow-up, including 75 primary and 25 revisions (60% women and 40% men; mean age, 62years). Outcome was assessed by means of the Liverpool Elbow Score, pain experience, patient satisfaction, range of motion, and radiographic imaging. Results: The mean follow-up period was 48.5months (range, 24-108months). The Liverpool Elbow Score improved from 3.79 to 6.36 (. P<.001). The percentage of pain-free patients was substantially increased from 7% preoperatively to 64% at the final follow-up. The patient satisfaction rate was over 90%. The flexion-extension arc and pronation-supination arc increased from 72° to 93° and from 86° to 111°, respectively (. P<.001). Major postoperative complications included deep infection (2%), progressive aseptic loosening requiring revision (primary, 5%; revision 12%), persistent ulnar neuropathy (3%), and periprosthetic fracture (primary, 6.8%; revision, 8%). Conclusion: The Discovery Elbow System resulted in improved function, reduced pain, and high patient satisfaction. Long-term results are required to assess the survivorship of this system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical outcome
  • Discovery Elbow
  • Elbow prostheses
  • Total elbow arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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