Patient Education

To help you understand and navigate through your orthopedic health decisions, we have created a patient education section. Please select from one of the categories below to learn more about your condition or procedure.
Elbow Arthroscopy

Elbow arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat various conditions affecting the elbow joint. It involves making small incisions around the elbow and inserting a camera (arthroscope) to visualize the inside of the joint and use miniature surgical instruments to perform repairs or treatments.

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms that may indicate the need for elbow arthroscopy include pain, stiffness, swelling, locking or catching sensations, instability, and loss of range of motion in the elbow joint.

Cause & Anatomy

The elbow is a complex joint formed by the articulation of three bones: the humerus (upper arm), radius, and ulna (forearm). It is surrounded by ligaments, tendons, and muscles that facilitate movement and stability. Various conditions can affect the elbow joint, including arthritis, injuries (fractures, dislocations), loose bodies, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), and stiffness (arthrofibrosis).

Diagnosis

Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination, medical history, and imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, or MRI to assess the extent of damage or disease in the elbow joint.

Prevention

Preventive measures include proper warm-up and stretching before activities, using appropriate protective gear, avoiding overuse or repetitive stress on the elbow, and maintaining overall fitness and muscle strength.

Non-Surgical Treatment

Non-surgical treatments like rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and steroid injections may be tried initially. If these fail, elbow arthroscopy may be recommended to address the underlying condition.

Surgery

During elbow arthroscopy, the surgeon makes small incisions (portals) around the elbow and inserts the arthroscope and surgical instruments. Depending on the condition, they may remove loose bodies, trim bone spurs, repair torn ligaments or tendons, or perform other procedures to restore joint function.

Rehabilitation

After surgery, a period of immobilization and physical therapy is typically required to regain strength, range of motion, and function in the elbow joint. The rehabilitation process and timeline vary based on the specific procedure performed and the patient’s overall health.

FAQ’s

Is elbow arthroscopy a serious operation?
Yes, it is a real surgical procedure with potential risks like nerve injury, so it should be performed by an experienced surgeon.

What are the advantages of elbow arthroscopy?
Smaller incisions, less soft tissue disruption, reduced pain and swelling, faster recovery compared to open surgery, and excellent visualization of the joint.

What is the success rate?
The success rate is high when performed for the correct indications by an experienced surgeon.

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