The Impact of Cement Mantle Characteristics on Early Loosening in Primary Total Elbow Arthroplasty

Published:October 07, 2022DOI:


      To assess the association between cement mantle characteristics and early radiographic loosening in total elbow arthroplasty (TEA). We aimed to determine whether shorter mantle heights (<20 mm) were associated with loosening.


      We reviewed primary TEAs from a single healthcare system from 2006 to 2020. TEAs complicated by infection or performed for oncologic conditions were excluded. Initial postoperative radiographs were reviewed to determine cement mantle and component characteristics (mantle quality, mantle height, and component angulation). One-year postoperative radiographs were reviewed to assess for implant loosening, and we compared demographics and radiographic criteria for cases with and without early loosening. We noted whether cases underwent subsequent revision for aseptic osteolysis.


      A total of 54 TEA cases were included. Forty percent of ulnar and 24% of humeral mantles were classified as short (between 1 and 19 mm). According to the Morrey classification, 6 (11%) cases had an inadequate cement mantle Twenty-four (45%) cases had radiographic evidence of loosening at 1 year. Of the cases with early loosening, 6 (25%) had initial inadequate mantle quality. There were no inadequate mantles in the group without loosening. There were no statistically significant differences in mantle heights for cases with and without loosening at 1 year after surgery. Eight (33%) cases underwent revision in the group with early loosening compared with 1 (3%) case without early loosening.


      Inadequate cement mantle quality was associated with an increased risk of early aseptic loosening after primary TEA. Cement mantles that extended past the tip of the prosthesis were not associated with loosening. Considering the potential need for future revision and morbidity of cement removal, surgeons should focus on mantle quality and carefully plan mantle height because shorter heights may not be associated with early implant failure.

      Type of study/level of evidence

      Prognostic II.

      Key words

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