Loose cartilage and bone fragments, or loose bodies, in the elbow can cause pain and a patient may need an arthroscopic procedure to remove them. For this procedure, several small 2-3 mm incisions are made at the elbow joint to insert the arthroscope and surgical instruments in order to remove the loose bodies. Once they are removed, the surgeon closes up the incision.
An elbow arthroscopy can also be performed to treat arthritis. Once the small incisions are made and the damaged joint is located, the surgeon can use a technique called debriding to smooth the bone surfaces. By smoothing the bone, the joint is relieved of stiffness and it is less likely to catch in motion.
After surgery, a bandage is applied and the elbow is placed in a sling, but both are taken off after a few days. After the stiches are removed, the patient can do exercises to regain elbow strength. Recovery usually takes several weeks, depending on the condition of the surgery.
Our surgical specialists and physical therapists at Triangle Orthopaedics treat arthritis patients often. To learn more about elbow arthroscopies and treatment options for you, contact us at any of our Carolina office locations today.
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