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Elbow Surgery

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.

Recovery

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.

“Pain, weakness or the inability to perform a function are all symptoms of an elbow injury and should be evaluated. My approach to shoulder and elbow disease in general is very conservative. Most of the time for shoulder and elbow injuries I start my patients off with physical therapy, consult them on the avoidance of an activity like in the case with tennis elbow, or suggest ice and rest therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and offer the judicious use of injections to relieve pain.”

– Dr. Jonathan Hersch, orthopaedic surgeon, sports medicine, shoulder, knee and hip arthroscopy.