International Orthopaedics

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 883–889 | Cite as

Trends in total elbow arthroplasty: a nationwide analysis in Germany from 2005 to 2014

  • Alexander Klug
  • Yves Gramlich
  • Johannes Buckup
  • Uwe Schweigkofler
  • Reinhard Hoffmann
  • Kay Schmidt-Horlohé
Original Paper



To date, there has been no study investigating the epidemiology and the changes over time, especially regarding indications, in total elbow replacement in Germany.


Using German procedure classification system (OPS) codes as well as the associated ICD codes, a retrospective analysis from 2005 to 2014 of the data provided by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany was performed. Total elbow arthroplasties (TEAs) were evaluated for admitting diagnoses, sex, and age of patient and distribution of constraint versus unconstraint prostheses. Furthermore, the number and indications of revision elbow arthroplasty (REA) and explantations were identified.


From 2005 to 2014, a total of 3872 patients underwent TEA in Germany. This represents a rise of 84% in this period. Almost 77% of the arthroplasties were performed in females, and over 45% were implanted in patients before the age of 70. During the study, a significant increase in TEA performed on patients for trauma from 12 to 42% and concomitantly, a decrease for the arthritis subgroup from 20 to 2.6% could be revealed. Additionally, almost a doubling of REA in that period could be detected (10.3 to 17.1%). The main revision indication could be found in mechanical complications, such as aseptic loosening (72.1%). Conversely, the number of explantations decreased (12.4 to 5.8%).


During the study period, the number of TEA performed in Germany nearly doubled. Over the years, the most common indication for total elbow arthroplasty changed from inflammatory arthritis to trauma sequel. Further database analysis may help to identify populations at risk and specify reasons for revisions.

Level of evidence: Therapeutic Level IV.


Total elbow arthroplasty Elbow Prosthesis Revision arthroplasty Epidemiology 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Investigation performed at BG Unfallklinik Frankfurt am MainFrankfurt am MainGermany

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