Development of a novel total elbow arthroplasty design based on new insight into the anatomy and biomechanics of the elbow
The elbow consists out of 3 joints and its movement is characterized by complex kinematics. Total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) has been introduced in the previous century for treating a destructed joint, and the amount of TEA quadrupled since 2000 in Belgium. But in contrast to the survival rate of other joint arthroplasties, the survival rate of TEA is still low. During my dissertation, I found an anatomical variation of the bony anatomy that is currently not considered in the designs and may partially declare the high complication ratio. Therefore, the aim is to better understand the elbow's anatomy and biomechanics and to develop an innovative modifiable implant based on these novel insights. First, I will quantify and parametrize the elbow joint's anatomical variance based on 200 CT cases. Second, I will develop a musculoskeletal model of the elbow based on 30 MRI scans and optical tracking. Within this model, I will simulate the forces and torques on the elbow. Next, the laxity of the elbow joint will be robotically tested on 10 cadaveric specimens. Based on these novel insights and the filed patent application, I will develop a modular elbow implant to optimize the reconstruction of the native biomechanics. This novel implant will be compared with the current available TEA within the musculoskeletal model and with the robot.