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Elbow arthroscopy

TREATING ELBOW INJURIES USING KEYHOLE SURGERY

If you're experiencing elbow pain, arthroscopy diagnoses and treats a number of different elbow conditions

About

This procedure treats elbow injuries using keyhole surgery inside your elbow joint (arthroscopy). It's also used to inspect and diagnose conditions.

There are many benefits to this procedure. As the arthroscope and surgical instruments are thin, the incisions made to your skin are smaller. This means less scarring and shorter recovery times.

Elbow arthroscopy treats a number of conditions:

- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Osteoarthritis (wear and tear arthritis)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory arthritis)
- Removes loose bits of cartilage and bone from injuries or arthritis
- Removal of loose bodies (loose cartilage and bone fragments)
- Releases scar tissue to improve range of motion

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    This procedure happens under general anaesthetic, so you'll be asleep throughout. You'll either lie on your side or stomach so your surgeon has easy access to your elbow. Your elbow joint will be filled with a special fluid which helps your surgeon see your joint structures on the screen. This clear view of your elbow means less risk of injury to your nerves and blood vessels. The surgeon will then make small incisions around the elbow joint and insert the camera. The surgeon will then treat the problem, for example by repairing the nerve or removing loose bone. The cuts are then stitched or covered with tape at the end of surgery.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. Because you'll be having general anaesthetic, they'll let you know how long you should avoid eating and drinking before surgery. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    As arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive, you'll be able to go home after a few hours. Your consultant will check your progress and nurses will provide pain relief. You'll need someone to drive you home after the procedure. Recovery from an elbow arthroscopy can take weeks or even months. Gentle exercise can help and a physiotherapist will help you build strength and regain function of your elbow. Your consultant will let you know how long your recovery will take and how long you will need off work.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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