The elbow is supported by several soft tissues, including cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and bursae.
Arthroscopic elbow surgery is commonly advised to address the following issues:
Furthermore, arthroscopy may be employed to manage osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and a condition known as osteochondritis dissecans, characterized by unattached fragments of bone and cartilage within the joint space.
Your surgeon will review your medical history and perform a complete physical examination. Diagnostic studies may also be ordered such as X-rays, MRI or CT scan to assist in diagnosis.
Arthroscopy is a medical intervention that involves inserting an arthroscope, a small and flexible tube with a light and camera at the end, into a joint to diagnose and treat different conditions.
Elbow arthroscopy is commonly performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the patient is positioned laterally or prone to facilitate the surgeon's access and improve visualization of the elbow's interior.
The surgeon makes several tiny incisions to insert the arthroscope and surgical instruments into the joint. A sterile liquid is used to fill the elbow joint to enhance the clarity of the internal structures through the arthroscope and limit bleeding. The camera attached to the arthroscope displays the elbow's internal structures on a monitor and helps the surgeon evaluate the joint and guide the instruments to address the issue.
The procedure concludes with the closure of the surgical incisions using sutures and the application of a soft sterile dressing. The surgeon may immobilize the elbow using a cast or a splint to restrict its movement.
Arthroscopy offers several advantages over traditional open elbow surgery, including smaller incisions, minimal soft tissue damage, less post-operative pain, faster healing, and a lower infection rate.
After your elbow arthroscopy procedure, it is important to follow these post-surgical instructions:
Complications that may occur after elbow arthroscopy include infection, bleeding, and nerve or blood vessel damage.