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Internal Elbow Joint Stabilizer

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Evolution of Internal Elbow Joint Stabilizer

A recently developed novel technology to address the aforementioned shortcomings of chronic elbow instability is the internal joint stabilizer (IJS). This device is implanted subcutaneously about the elbow joint, allowing unrestricted joint motion while avoiding the complications inherent to other methods.

First developed in the early 2000’s, the latest technology on the market is based on the design created 2014. This model involved the use of a Steinmann pin (2.5mm thick metal pin) that was inserted in the distal portion of the humerus parallel to the axis of ulnohumeral rotation. The other end of the pin (on the lateral aspect of the implant) was bent in a figure-of-eight design and then secured to the ulna with use of screws (pictures below).

This internal construct allowed for un-inhibited flexion/extension and prevented motion in any other plane. This device remained in place to allow for adequate ligament healing, and then is subsequently removed with a simple procedure (usually around 6-7wks). Although removal of these implants is recommended, even with newer designs, current reports have found that about 2/3rds of patient opt to keep them in place.

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