Hemophilic arthropathy of the elbow: Prophylaxis, imaging, and the role of invasive management

Timothy M. Dale, James M. Saucedo, E. Carlos Rodríguez-Merchán

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Hemophilia is an X-linked recessive deficiency of clotting factor VIII (hemophilia A) or IX (hemophilia B) that can result in hemarthrosis of various joints, including the elbow. Left unchecked, this can lead to progressive joint destruction and significant morbidity. Appropriate management of the elbow joint through prophylactic measures, accurate imaging, and timely intervention is essential. Replacing or supplementing deficient factor with a plasma-derived or recombinant factor concentrate can minimize bleeding episodes. Joints should be routinely monitored for damage. Plain films offer an inexpensive window into bone disease and joint space changes but lack soft tissue detail and may not detect early changes. Magnetic resonance imaging provides a high level of detail but may be limited by its cost and need for sedation in younger patients. Ultrasound may not achieve the same level of resolution as magnetic resonance imaging, but it is increasingly used as a convenient, effective, and relatively inexpensive alternative. Patients who experience hemarthrosis of the elbow with joint damage often require more invasive treatment. Radiosynovectomy and arthroscopic synovectomy are effective at minimizing pain and preventing future bleeding episodes, whereas extensive joint damage may necessitate total elbow replacement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1669-1678
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Elbow synovitis
  • Hemarthrosis
  • Hemophilia
  • Hemophilic arthropathy
  • Radiosynovectomy
  • Total elbow replacement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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