Elbow surgery could be an option to finally eliminate the discomfort you’re experiencing. One of the more common procedures is elbow arthroscopy, with is often used to inspect the joint and provide needed repairs. But, as with all types of surgery, it is vitally important that you have a detailed discussion with your doctor to determine the course of treatment that is best for you.
What Is Elbow Arthroscopy?
An elbow arthroscopy is performed by inserting a tiny camera into the joint that transmits an image to a television screen. Your surgeon will use this image to guide miniature surgical tools to fix your problem. An arthroscopy is a minimally invasive type of elbow surgery that only requires very small incisions, making the recovery time much faster compared to more extensive procedures.
Why Would I Need Elbow Surgery?
If you are experiencing elbow pain that has not responded to more conservative treatments, then elbow surgery may be your best option. When medications, rest, physical therapy or injections don’t work, surgery can relieve stiffness, pain and swelling.
There are a lot of reasons why someone may need an elbow procedure. For example, you may have suffered a recent injury that is not responding to anti-inflammatories or pain relievers. Or you may simply have a condition caused by normal wear and tear on the joint. You could have a buildup of scar tissue from a previous procedure that needs to be taken out, or loose bone fragments and/or cartilage that need to be removed.
How Do I Plan for Surgery?
Your doctor will want to make sure you don’t have any medical conditions that could either make surgery dangerous or could slow your recovery. You’ll undergo a series of tests, such as chest x-rays, blood tests and more to make sure you are healthy enough for a procedure.
What Can I Expect During My Recovery From Elbow Surgery?
Once you are cleared and the surgery is performed, you can probably expect at least a few weeks of recovery time. You’ll have pain medicine for the first few days, and you’ll need to ice the area throughout the day to further reduce pain and swelling. In most cases, it is important for the patient to keep their arm elevated for at least 48 hours after the procedure.
It will also be important for you to move your wrist and fingers regularly, which will not only help to stimulate blood flow, but will also help limit swelling. Your doctor will give you some exercises to help gradually increase your range of motion to prevent stiffness from setting in.
Everyone recovers at a different pace, so don’t try and force the issue by returning to your normal routine too quickly. Your doctor will provide you with a recovery plan that you should follow to the letter. If you don’t, you will run the risk of suffering serious complications.