Elbow arthroscopy is a minimally invasive method to treat problems of the elbow. It is commonly used for arthritic or contracted elbows, tennis elbow surgery and occasionally to assist treatment of certain elbow fractures.
Elbow arthroscopy starts by introducing a high-definition camera into the elbow joint through a small incision on the side of the elbow. A second incision is made on the opposite side of the elbow to place a probe into the elbow joint. A thorough inspection of all cartilage surfaces and the joint ligaments is performed to identify any pathology. A suction-shaver tool is used to remove any loose cartilage or bone debris. Bone spurs when present are smoothed with a burr. Several small incisions may be used to address different areas of the elbow joint. Additional work is performed as dictated by the patient's problem.
This is done as a "same day" surgery and the patient may begin elbow exercises the day of the procedure. The patient will usually have four or five small incisions around the elbow with one stitch in each. These will be removed in the office 10 days after the surgery.
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