Radial Head Replacement / Fixation

Sling

When will I go home?

What can I do?

What can’t I do?

4 weeks You will be discharged on the same day as the operation Gentle elbow range of movement No lifting, no pushing, no pulling

Acute phase (0-4 weeks)

Goals

  • Pain and oedema control while protecting healing tissues
  • Prevent joint contractures
  • Independence and compliance in splint wear

Rehabilitation

  • Progression from gravity assisted elbow extension, to active assist, to active range of movement of elbow extension
  • Active range of movement of shoulder, wrist, and hand
  • Light putty exercises for grip once full ROM of digits is restored
  • Oedema control
  • No lifting, pushing, pulling

Criteria for progression

  • Pain control

Intermediate phase (4-8 weeks)

Goals

  • Restore ROM in elbow

Rehabilitation

  • Advance to elbow flexion after 4 weeks
  • Increase elbow range of movement including supination & pronation
  • If >20degrees lack of extension or elbow flexion <130 degrees at 8 weeks add a static elbow brace

Late phase (>8 weeks)

Goals

  • Restore full range of movement in elbow

Rehabilitation

  • Home exercise program to maintain range of movement, strength, proprioception and function

Guidelines for return to functional activities

Driving

Lifting

Swimming

Golf

8 weeks 3 months 4 weeks 3 months

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