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Hemiarthroplasty for Radius Injuries: Procedure and Results

Hemiarthroplasty is a surgical procedure commonly used to treat radius injuries. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the procedure and its results, based on research and clinical studies. By understanding the intricacies of hemiarthroplasty, patients and healthcare professionals can make informed decisions regarding treatment options for radius injuries.

The Anatomy of the Radius

Before delving into the details of hemiarthroplasty, it is essential to understand the anatomy of the radius. The radius is one of the two bones in the forearm, located on the thumb side. It extends from the elbow joint to the wrist joint and plays a crucial role in forearm rotation and stability.

The radius consists of three main parts: the head, the neck, and the shaft. The head of the radius is the proximal end that articulates with the capitulum of the humerus, forming the elbow joint. The neck is a narrow portion just below the head, and the shaft is the long, cylindrical part of the bone that extends to the wrist joint.

Indications for Hemiarthroplasty

Hemiarthroplasty is primarily indicated for radius injuries that cannot be adequately treated with conservative methods such as casting or splinting. The procedure is typically recommended for patients with:

  • Comminuted fractures: Fractures that involve multiple fragments of the radius.
  • Unstable fractures: Fractures that result in significant displacement or angulation of the bone.
  • Open fractures: Fractures that break the skin, increasing the risk of infection.
  • Fractures associated with soft tissue injuries: Fractures that occur alongside severe damage to the surrounding ligaments, tendons, or nerves.

It is important to note that the decision to proceed with hemiarthroplasty is made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the patient’s overall health, age, and functional requirements.

The Hemiarthroplasty Procedure

The hemiarthroplasty procedure involves replacing the damaged or fractured head of the radius with an artificial implant. The surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia and involves the following steps:

  1. Surgical incision: A small incision is made over the affected area to access the radius bone.
  2. Removal of the damaged head: The damaged head of the radius is carefully removed, taking care not to damage the surrounding soft tissues.
  3. Preparation of the bone: The remaining part of the radius bone is prepared to receive the artificial implant. This may involve shaping the bone or using special instruments to create a stable surface.
  4. Implantation of the artificial head: The artificial head of the radius, made of metal or ceramic, is inserted into the prepared bone. It is secured in place using screws or other fixation methods.
  5. Closure of the incision: The incision is closed using sutures or staples, and a sterile dressing is applied to the wound.

The duration of the surgery can vary depending on the complexity of the fracture and the patient’s individual circumstances. After the procedure, patients are typically advised to undergo physical therapy to regain strength and mobility in the affected arm.

Results and Complications of Hemiarthroplasty

Hemiarthroplasty has shown promising results in the treatment of radius injuries. Several studies have reported improved pain relief, functional outcomes, and patient satisfaction following the procedure. The artificial implant provides stability to the radius, allowing for better range of motion and improved grip strength.

However, like any surgical procedure, hemiarthroplasty carries certain risks and complications. These may include:

  • Infection: There is a risk of infection at the surgical site, which may require antibiotic treatment or, in severe cases, implant removal.
  • Implant failure: The artificial implant may fail over time, leading to loosening, dislocation, or fracture. Revision surgery may be required to address these issues.
  • Nerve or blood vessel damage: During the surgery, there is a small risk of damaging nearby nerves or blood vessels, which can result in sensory or motor deficits.
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion: Some patients may experience stiffness or limited range of motion in the affected arm following hemiarthroplasty. Physical therapy can help address these issues.

It is important for patients to discuss these potential risks and complications with their healthcare provider before undergoing hemiarthroplasty.


Hemiarthroplasty is a valuable surgical procedure for the treatment of radius injuries that cannot be adequately managed with conservative methods. By replacing the damaged head of the radius with an artificial implant, hemiarthroplasty provides stability, pain relief, and improved functional outcomes for patients.

While the procedure has shown positive results, it is essential to consider the potential risks and complications associated with hemiarthroplasty. Patients should have a thorough discussion with their healthcare provider to weigh the benefits and risks before making a decision.

Overall, hemiarthroplasty offers a promising solution for individuals with radius injuries, helping them regain mobility and improve their quality of life.

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