Surgical Treatments

Elbow Surgery Options

If the patient’s symptoms do not respond to the nonsurgical treatments listed above or the extent of the injuries are severe, a doctor may recommend surgery.

Elbow surgeries fall under two categories, arthroscopic or open. Some surgeries include a mixture of both.

Elbow Arthroscopy

This procedure can be used to visualize, diagnose and repair problems in the elbow joint. In arthroscopic surgery, the surgeon will use an arthroscope that inserts through small incisions a small camera and any needed instrument into the elbow joint.

Due to the small incision recovery time, pain and joint stiffness are all decreased compared to an open surgery that requires a large incision.

Elbow arthroscopy can treat the following conditions:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteochondritis dissecans

It can also be used to release scar tissue, loosen the joint capsule and remove loose cartilage and bone fragments.

Open elbow surgery

Open surgery is used when a larger incision is needed to repair the elbow. The placement of the incision of an open elbow surgery depends on the type and extent of the repair needed.

An open procedure is most effective to:

  • Treat golfer’s elbow
  • Repair the collateral ligaments
  • Fix fractures
  • Repair bicep tendon tears (distal biceps repair)
  • Decompress the ulnar nerve (cubital tunnel release)
  • Treat radial tunnel syndrome (radial tunnel release)
  • Replace the elbow joint

Risks of Surgery

As with any surgery, there are some risks associated with both an arthroscopic and open elbow surgery. Prior to surgery, your surgeon will go over the specific risks of your surgery.

Some possible risks include infection, bleeding, complications from anesthesia, nerve damage and joint stiffness.

We have a highly trained orthopedic surgeon team that specializes in elbow surgery and can effectively correct the most complex issues. Schedule an appointment at Muir Orthopaedic Specialists today.