This article centres on elbow replacement surgery and arthritis, as distinguished consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Dr David Thyagarajan, describes how elbow replacement surgery is performed, and when it is suggested to patients with arthritis.
When is elbow replacement surgery indicated in cases of arthritis?
Elbow replacement surgery can sometimes be used as an effective treatment option for patients with arthritis. It is typically required when elbow pain becomes severe and debilitating. It also may be necessary if other non-surgical treatments measures have been tried and have not worked.
What does elbow replacement surgery entail?
Elbow replacement surgery is, in most cases, performed under general anaesthesia. The procedure itself involves removing the arthritis bone and replacing it with what is known as a metal prosthesis. This prosthesis links the upper arm to the forearm bones.
Is elbow joint replacement painful? What should patients expect from the recovery period?
Patients may experience mild pain after surgery. Regional nerve blocks can be given during surgery to help with pain control in the first 24 hours. During the initial recovery period, strong painkillers will be required for a few days.
Can an elbow replacement restore full function to the joint?
An elbow replacement will provide a patient with a decent amount of pain relief. The range of movement achieved after replacement, though, is quite variable from patient to patient. The range of movement will depend on the pre-existing stiffness and soft tissue function of the patient.
Dr David Thyagarajan is a highly distinguished consultant orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in elbow surgery. If you are considering undergoing elbow surgery or thinking about seeking treatment for any elbow-related concern you may have, you can book an appointment with him today via his Top Doctors profile.