Objective: To find out which surgical approach, optimize the functional outcomes and reduce the risk of complications.
Methods: Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar were searched to identify relevant studies, which were included if they were retrospective or prospective in design, involved participants who had terrible triad of elbow (TTIE) that compared lateral approach (LA) with combined lateral and anteromedial approach (CML), and were published in English. Outcomes of interest were functional outcomes, complications, and operative time.
Results: Four studies, involving 470 patients were included in the systematic review. Mean follow up after surgery was typically 24 to 30 months. We found significant more range of motion (ROM) of elbow in CML as compared to LA group (MD: -14.21, 95% CI: -21.13 to-7.29, p<0.00001). There was significant more forearm rotation in CML as compared to LA group (MD: -18.88, 95% CI: -32.35 to -5.40, p<0.00001). Mayo elbow performance score (MEPS) was significantly more in CML (MD: -3.31, 95% CI: -7.23 to 0.62, p=0.00001). Blood loss, operative time, VAS and complications were more in CML group; however, the difference was not significant. The heterogeneity of the study and synthesizing retrospective data were the primary limitations.
Conclusion: Our analysis demonstrated that combined lateral and medial approach had significantly more elbow ROM and forearm rotation. The combined approach also had significantly more MEPS. However, using combined approach significantly increased the operative time.