Is the Hinged Elbow Orthosis (HEO) effective?

Catherine Logan

September 10th, 2019

Research Update…
The Effectiveness of a Hinged Elbow Orthosis (HEO) in MCL injuries: An In Vitro Biomechanical Study
Source: ASJM, first published August 28, 2019

Clinical Question: Does arm position, forearm position and muscle activation influence the effectiveness of an HEO?

Bottom Line: A HEO did not enhance mechanical stability when the arm was in the valgus and dependent position following an elbow MCL injury.
Points to consider: when the arm was dependent, the HEO increased the valgus angle with the forearm in pronation and supination – it had no significant effect on elbow stability during passive motion.

Takeaway: After MCL injury, an HEO likely does not provide mechanical elbow stability during rehabilitative exercises or when the elbow is subjected to valgus stress (such as with throwing).

About the Author:
Catherine A. Logan, MD, MBA, MSPT is a sports medicine Orthopaedic Surgeon and writer. Based in Denver, CO, she is an attending at Colorado Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics at Rose Medical Center.. Dr. Logan is the Head League Physician for Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) member of the team physician pool for the US Ski & Snowboard teams each year. Dr. Logan completed her Orthopaedic Surgery residency at the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program and her Sports Medicine Fellowship training at the prestigious Steadman Philippon Research Institute/The Steadman Clinic in Vail, CO. Logan is also on the board of The Chill Foundation.