The relation between elbow range of motion and patient satisfaction after open release of stiff elbow

Hakan GUNDES, Özgür SELEK, Umit GOK, Bora GUMUSLU, Levent BULUC,


The aim of this retrospective study was to find out whether a cut off value existed for elbow flexion and extension after open surgical release of elbow contracture that would correlate with subjective patient satisfaction.
The study enrolled 77 patients (53 males and 24 females with a mean age of 35.1 (18–77) years at the time of operation) with elbow contracture who attended regular follow-up appointments for more than 12 months. The mean follow up period was 44.2 months (12–186). The preoperative and postoperative modified MAYO elbow scores, objective parameters of increase in both flexion and extension end point measurements and improvement in total ROM were compared in order to determine the cut off degree of ROM in both flexion and extension that significantly correlated with patient satisfaction.
Of the 77 participating patients, 26 patients had an extrinsic (33.8%) and 51 patients had an intrinsic elbow contracture (66.2%). Surgeries performed involved 40 cases of lateral release and 37 cases of both lateral and medial (progressive) release. The median preoperative total flexion-extension arch (ROM) was 45° (20°–65°). The median postoperative total flexion-extension arch (ROM) was 110° (97.5°–125°). The modified MAYO elbow score improved from 60 to 85 points postoperatively. The postoperative flexion cut off value was 115° for an excellent or good postoperative modified MAYO elbow score.
Post-operative flexion cut off value was 115° and had a positive effect on the postoperative patient satisfaction. The cut off value for postoperative extension was 20° but it was not a significant variable on patient satisfaction as was the total increase in ROM.
Level of significance
Level IV Therapeutic Study.
ER -


  • Contracture release
  • Elbow contracture
  • Elbow flexion

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