Arthroscopic Elbow Surgery

Arthroscopic elbow surgery is used to diagnose and treat a number of elbow joint conditions.

With the arthroscopic approach, small incisions are made that allow the doctor to insert a high-powered fiber optic camera and surgical instruments into the elbow area. As the doctor watches a monitor linked to the camera, he or she can address the specific needs inside the elbow joint.

Common arthroscopic procedures include removal of loose bodies; release of scar tissue; and treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Advantages of elbow arthroscopy include minimal scarring, reduced pain and bleeding, and lower chance of infection than open surgery.

 

Who is eligible?

Tenet Florida Physician Services considers a patient’s overall health before recommending any surgery.

Some patients with soft tissue infections, acute and chronic open wounds, and dermatitis near the surgery site may not be good candidates for surgery. Other limitations may be placed on patients with nerve damage, infections, or wound issues.

 

What are the risks?

In addition to the regular risks of any surgery, there are some additional risks to elbow surgery. In some cases, there is a slightly higher risk of infection and nerve irritation/injury following elbow arthroscopy as compared to arthroscopy of other joints. Potential problems with elbow arthroscopy include infection, excessive bleeding, blood clots, and damage to blood vessels or nerves.

Your doctor will discuss the potential risks and benefits of elbow arthroscopy with you prior to surgery.

 

What is recovery like?

Recovery will depend on the exact type of procedure performed. In general, patients will need pain medication and rest. Elevating the elbow and regular icing will help with swelling. Weight bearing activities like lifting and driving will depend on your doctor’s instructions. After the swelling goes down, you may begin physical therapy or rehabilitation to strengthen the area and regain full range of motion.


How expensive is it?

Arthroscopic elbow surgery is usually covered by insurance, Medicaid and Medicare. If you and your Tenet Florida Physician Services doctor believe surgery is a good choice for you, the Tenet team will give you an estimate of what your out of pocket expenses may be.

 

How do I learn more?

Usually, arthroscopic elbow surgery candidates are referred by a general or family physician. If you would like to make an appointment to speak with a Tenet doctor about this procedure, call 1.866.654.2362.