Total elbow replacements
Elbow arthritis can cause significant pain and stiffness. Arthritis can be as a result of rheumatoid process, after trauma or due to osteoarthritis. This can lead to functional disability. Total elbow replacement is designed to replace the damaged joint surfaces with plastic and metal bearing surfaces. While a total elbow replacement is designed to give good pain relief and restore function.
Inability to flex or rotate the elbow as they should be with loss of movement is most common after trauma and this usually improves over time. With high levels of trauma, surgery may be required to re-instate the function and remove or reduce pain in the elbow. Surgery may be performed by keyhole (arthroscopy) or open surgery.
Elbow arthroscopy is a keyhole surgery for elbows. It can be used to treat many conditions of the elbow. Performed under general or regional anaesthetic, a fibre optic camera is inserted through a small incision in the elbow. The surgeon is able to view on a monitor and accurately diagnose and treat conditions in this way.
With only small cuts made, there will be less pain, stiffness and swelling than in conventional surgery, resulting in a faster recovery rate.
The following procedures are done through elbow arthroscopy:
Debridement in arthritis
Elbow arthroscopy debridement is a specific technique to remove bony growths in the joint and loose bits of bone or cartilage that may be causing problems. In certain cases the head of the radius might also be removed.
Removal of loose bodies in the elbow joint
Loose bodies in the elbow joint can cause symptoms including: locking, catching, clicking, crepitus and pain. Arthroscopic removal of intra-articular loose bodies of the elbow can lead to improvement in all of these symptoms. Commonly seen in patients with osteoarthritis and in repetitive use injuries such as those seen in athletes used to throwing overhead.