Elbow Surgery

Home Specialties Elbows Elbow Surgery

Elbow Surgery

When you’ve injured your elbow, doctors first recommend conservative treatment options like rest, medications and physical therapy. However, if these methods fail to bring down the pain and inflammation, then the doctor may suggest surgery. The most commonly performed elbow surgery involves using a minimally invasive technique called arthroscopy.

When is Elbow surgery recommended?

There are many conditions in which arthroscopic elbow surgery can play an important role in diagnosing as well as treating the condition, like:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Arthritis
  • Loose fragments in the joint
  • Stiffness
  • Elbow fracture

What Happens During Elbow Arthroscopy Surgery?

The surgeon fills the elbow joint with saline so that the structures inside the elbow can be seen clearly on the screen. This helps reduces the risk of damaging other nerves and blood vessels. Then, small incisions are made to insert the arthroscope, a tool with a small camera on the end, and other surgical instruments into the joint. By using this minimally invasive approach, the surgeon limits tissue damage, lessens pain and aides an overall faster recovery. Images from the arthroscope are displayed in real time on a screen to help the surgeon navigate the internal structures of the joint.

The surgeon evaluates the joint before starting any treatment. After the evaluation, the surgeon performs the required repair procedure using the miniature surgical tools. Later, incisions are closed using skin tapes, or sutures and the elbow is supported with a sling or a plaster splint.

 

What does recovery from Elbow Surgery look like?

After the surgery, you will be asked to stay in the recovery room for a couple of hours before being discharged from the facility. Our nurses will monitor your recovery and provide some pain medications. You will be given discharge instructions including medications, rest, icing as well as care of the surgical site. As you won’t be able to drive, you should come with a family member or a friend who can drive you back home and stay with you for at least one night.

You may experience some pain and discomfort for 1-2 weeks after the surgery. You should continue taking pain and anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed by your doctor. Also, you will need to ice and elevate your elbow regularly for the initial 1-2 days. This will help in reducing the swelling and quicken the recovery. You will be advised to perform easy exercises to prevent joint stiffness. Usually, the dressing and splint are removed 2-3 days post-surgery. It generally takes a few weeks for your elbow joint to recover completely. Your doctor will recommend physical therapy after the first postoperative visit to improve the movement and strengthen the elbow.

Orthopedic Specialists

Ryan Applonie, DO has a passion for helping others. Our staff has a combined 50+ years of orthopedic excellence dedicated to the people of the Boise area. All of our surgeons are board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Applonie
orthopedic specialists

Contact the Specialists

If you are in pain from an injury or dealing with a chronic condition, our orthopedic specialists are here to help.

Contact Us