Elbow Arthroscopy

Elbow joint connects the upper arm bone with the forearm bones and helps in smooth forward, backward and twisting movement of the arms. It may get affected by inflammation, injury, or other disorders that cause pain and require surgical intervention.

Elbow arthroscopy is a minimally invasive or keyhole procedure that uses a tiny device called arthroscope to precisely diagnose and treat various elbow disorders.

What are the Indications for Elbow Arthroscopy?

Elbow arthroscopy can be useful in diagnosis as well as treatment of various conditions, including:

  • Treatment of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

  • Removal of loose bodies

  • Release of scar tissue to improve range of motion

  • Treatment of osteoarthritis

  • Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

  • Treatment of osteochondritis dissecans

  • Joint stiffness

  • Olecranon impingement

Procedure

Elbow arthroscopy is performed under anaesthesia with surgeon making 2-3 small incisions near the elbow. A small device called arthroscope is inserted through one of the incisions. Arthroscope has a camera-lens setting that magnifies and projects images of the elbow on a large screen monitor. These images give better view of the elbow joint to make accurate diagnosis. The other surgical instruments are inserted through other incisions. A sterile solution is also introduced into the elbow to expand the joint and give better view and space for the surgery. After the surgery, incisions are closed with stitches and dressing is applied.

A cast or a splint is also applied on the elbow to prevent the movement of the elbow until it is healed completely.

Advantages of Elbow Arthroscopy

The benefits of arthroscopy as compared to the alternative, open elbow surgery include:

  • Safe & effective procedure

  • Smaller incisions

  • Less scarring

  • Minimal soft tissue trauma

  • Minimum post-operative pain, swelling and stiffness

  • Early healing

  • Faster recovery time

  • Lower infection rate

  • Least chances of complications

  • Earlier mobilization

  • Less hospitalization

  • Faster restoration to normal activities