Elbow Arthroscopy

Purpose, Preparation, Procedure, & Post-Procedure Care

Elbow arthroscopy often helps in the resolution of inflammation or fractures. For certain levels of damage or injury in elbow ligaments, tendons, or cartilage, your doctor might suggest this minimally invasive procedure.

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Elbow Arthroscopy

Treatment Overview

The Greek words "arthro" meaning "joint" and "skopein" meaning "to look" led to the origin of the word "arthroscopy." An elbow arthroscopy eliminates the need for a large skin incision and enables your surgeon to diagnose and treat joint issues in a better way. This can lead to lesser pain and faster recovery Due to advances in technology and surgical methods, elbow arthroscopy has advanced rapidly over the years. The advancements in knowledge regarding elbow anatomy and disorders are also contributing to these improvements.

It is currently regarded as a safe and reliable treatment option for a range of elbow conditions. It's a technically challenging procedure because of the small operative space and presence of a mesh of nerves and vessels in the surgical area. OCD (Osteochondritis Dissecans), VEOS (Valgus Extension Overload), osteoarthritis, arthrofibrosis, and loose bodies can all be effectively treated with it. Recent developments have expanded the indications of elbow arthroscopy to include the treatment of lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and fracture management (radial head fractures) also.

The advantages of arthroscopy over open elbow surgery include lesser risk of scarring, infection, pain, and swelling following surgery. It also allows quicker return to work and sports. However, because of the procedure's technical requirements, complications could still arise. The performing surgeon's experience, competence, expertise, and technique all affect the outcome of the arthroscopy.

If you or your loved ones are suffering from elbow disorders, then you are at the right place. Dr. Ishwar Bohra is one of the top orthopedic surgeons in India. He has earned great merits and has been recognised as one of the best doctors for elbow arthroscopy in India. People are experiencing best outcomes from the surgeries performed by Dr. Bohra.

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Elbow Arthroscopy

What is Elbow Injury?

Bone, cartilage, ligaments, and synovial fluid make up your elbow joint. The elbow joint is supported by tendons and muscles. You have elbow disorders if any of these structures are injured or damaged due to extrinsic or intrinsic factors. For certain levels of damage or injury in elbow ligaments, tendons, or cartilage, your doctor might suggest this minimally invasive procedure. It can be used to manage following issues:

  • Wear and tear of joint due to advancing age
  • Sports injuries
  • Overuse of joint

The following individuals may require an elbow arthroscopy:

  • People who throw and use their arms repeatedly, such as athletes
  • Those suffering from ailments like infection or arthritis

Types of Elbow Arthroscopy

Following are the types of surgeries that can be performed by arthroscopic technique:


The synovium, or membrane lining the joint, is removed during this procedure.

Arthroscopic Debridement

Using this method, any loose bone or cartilage fragments as well as bony growths within the joint are removed.

Elbow Interpositional Arthroplasty

The purpose of this operation is to reduce pain that develops from the rubbing of bone surfaces together. The bones have new shapes at their ends.

Purpose of Elbow Arthroscopy

Elbow arthroscopy often helps in the resolution of inflammation or fractures. Although arthroscopy cannot treat conditions like arthritis, it can reduce symptoms and increase range of motion. This procedure may be used to:

  • Release contractures (tensed muscles)
  • Eliminate loose cartilage and bone
  • Smoothen the bone surfaces that contact one another
  • Eliminate any adhesions or weakened tissue that restricts the joint movement

Elbow Arthroscopy Preparation

Your doctor will inquire about your medical history prior to an elbow arthroscopy. You must also bring a comprehensive list of all of your medications. A few days prior to your surgery, you might need to stop taking some of your medications. You will receive detailed instructions from your medical facility or doctor, including when to stop eating and drinking before surgery. Prior to your procedure, you might also require the following medical tests:

  • Elbow imaging (X Ray, MRI, CT scan)
  • Blood tests
  • Chest X-ray.
  • Electrocardiogram
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Elbow Arthroscopy Procedure

  • You lie on your stomach or side to get ready for an elbow arthroscopy. Anesthesia is administered so that you can fall asleep
  • In order to improve vision and lessen the chance of injury to nearby tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, your orthopedic surgeon will inject saline fluid into the damaged elbow joint.
  • Few tiny incisions are made at the treatment site
  • Small surgical tools are inserted at the surgical site, including an instrument with a camera and light to view inside your elbow joint
  • Your surgeon might take a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis if you are having an elbow arthroscopy to diagnose an issue
  • Your surgeon will carry out the elbow arthroscopy if it is necessary to treat an injury or condition
  • Following the arthroscopy, your surgeon covers and protects the incisions with a bandage, dressing, or splint before closing them with stitches or staples
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Post-Procedure Care for Elbow Arthroscopy

After the procedure, you may return home in a few hours. Taking good care of incisions is crucial. It might be necessary for you to:

  • Apply ice and raise your elbow
  • Maintain a clean, dry, and covered incision
  • To ease pain, take an NSAID
  • Instead of bathing until the incision heals, wash in the shower
  • Put on a brace, splint, or sling

Certain complications may accompany this procedure, which are:

  • Pain
  • Scarring of wound
  • Bleeding
  • Surgical site infection
  • Allergic reaction in response to equipment, materials or medication
  • Chest infection
  • Bleeding into the joint
  • Elbow joint infection
  • Joint Stiffness
  • Loss of your arm or hand movement
  • Nerve damage around the joint
  • Radial nerve damage

Recovery After Elbow Arthroscopy

Your physiotherapist might offer you tips and exercises to aid in your post-operative recovery. A few weeks may pass before returning to your regular activities. You should be able to get back to your regular activities as soon as possible with regular exercise. Consult your doctor or the healthcare team for advice prior to beginning an exercise regimen. The majority of patients experience significant improvement, but pain and movement take time to decrease. These symptoms vanish over time.

Why Choose Dr. Ishwar Bohra for Elbow Arthroscopy?

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Renowned for his groundbreaking work in joint restoration, Dr. Ishwar Bohra keeps pushing the frontiers of innovation with his latest research backed procedures. By employing advanced techniques and evidence-based strategies, Dr. Bohra ensures the best possible results for patients seeking joint rejuvenation. His commitment to excellence in restoring mobility and improving quality of life is demonstrated by his commitment to staying at the forefront of medical advancements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is the duration of recovery following arthroscopic elbow surgery?

A: It might take you six to eight weeks for you to recover. You might need to reduce your activities until you can move your elbows normally again. Another option for you might be a physical rehabilitation programme for faster recovery.

Q2: Is arthroscopy of the elbow painful?

A: For at least two weeks following surgery, you should anticipate some pain and discomfort. It might take a few weeks for the pain to go away if your surgery was extensive.

Q3: What is the elbow arthroscopy success rate?

A: There is an excellent success rate (between 80 and 95 %) for people with elbow arthritis. It results in lesser stiffness in the elbow following the procedure after open surgeries.

Q4: What are the complications of elbow arthroscopy?

A: Patients should be made aware that the most frequent side effects following elbow arthroscopic surgery include stiffness, the requirement for additional surgery, and nerve injuries, particularly neuropathy of the ulnar nerve.

Q5: After an elbow arthroscopy, will I need physical therapy?

A: Exercises to prevent joint stiffness and reduce swelling might be suggested by your healthcare provider. Additionally, physical therapy may aid in regaining mobility and strengthening muscles.

Q6: When is an arthroscopy of the elbow done?

A: Your elbow joint's arthroscopy can identify the source of symptoms like pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of motion. It can also be used by doctors to treat issues with ligaments, tendons, and joints. In extreme circumstances, open surgery and elbow arthroscopy may be executed together.

Q7: Which is preferable, open or arthroscopic elbow surgery?

A: Results from both methods are similar, with the maximum number of patients improving after six months. It has been demonstrated that the arthroscopic method has a quicker recovery time and allows for the treatment of any co-existing internal elbow issues.

Q8: Is there a scar from elbow surgery?

A: The scar left by the incision will typically disappear with time. You might undergo a rehabilitation programme following surgery. You should be able to use your arm and elbow pain-free after rehabilitation. It's likely that you'll be able to resume your regular activities, like playing sports and tennis.

Q9: How do you sleep following elbow arthroscopy?

A: Patients who underwent elbow surgery may sleep in a recliner comfortably for the first few days. Although a sling will be worn right away following surgery to safeguard the healing joint, patients may sleep without it.


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On the basis of your conversations with the experts regarding your symptoms, level of disability, and expectations from the treatment, the doctor will form a provisional diagnosis and recommend certain diagnostic tests.

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Your doctor will fix a surgery date based on your needs and convenience. During a pre-surgical appointment, you will sign the consent form and receive the pre-surgical instructions from the doctor.

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The doctor will perform your surgery and you will stay in the hospital for post-surgical care and observation under the specialized team. You will receive the at-home care instructions from the doctor before discharge.

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