Elbow Arthroscopy

Arthroscopic surgery of the elbow is challenging because of the joint’s anatomy. The bones lie close together, and nerves and blood vessels are located very close to the joint. So choosing a good surgeon is must.

 

Although it is a difficult procedure, arthroscopic surgery is often the ideal choice for treating certain elbow conditions. An injury or arthritis can damage the ends of the bones and cause bone spurs to develop. These spurs can be painful and make it hard to move the elbow. The doctor can remove these spurs(extra bone formation) by using special instruments inserted into the joint through the portals or small incisions. After the spurs are removed, the elbow moves more easily and with less pain.

 

The surgery will be performed under a general anesthesia. Once you are asleep, you will be placed on your side and the arm to be operated on will be placed over an arm holder. Two or three small puncture holes are made to allow access of both the viewing camera and the operating instruments into the elbow joint.

 

Elbow arthroscopy is particularly helpful for

  • Removal of loose bodies.
  • Evaluation and treatment of OCD.
  • Evaluation and treatment of damaged joint surfaces.
  • Removal of bone spurs.
  • Synovectomy – especially for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Stiff elbow release.
  • Tennis elbow release.
  • Evaluation of instability.

PROCEDURE

 

  • An elbow arthroscopy introduces an arthroscope (small ‘telescope’) into the elbow joint through small 2-3 millimeter incisions.
  • The arthroscope is used to identify the location of the loose bodies and the spurs.
  • The loose bodies can be removed by using the arthroscope in addition to small grasping instruments.
  • The elbow arthroscopic procedures take about 30-90 minutes and are done on an day-case basis (without an overnight stay in the hospital).