Elbow surgery can be performed as an open or arthroscopic procedure. In many cases, surgeons prefer to use the arthroscopic technique because it involves much smaller incisions as compared to the open surgery.
This can result in reduced pain, reduced joint stiffness, quicker recovery, and lower risk of complications. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Gregory Bigler and Dr. Steven Thomas provide elbow surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding locations.
The procedure is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia. IV antibiotics will be administered to minimize the risk of infection. The two common positions for elbow arthroscopy are lateral or side lying and prone or lying on the stomach. Spine and other pressure points in the legs and arms are padded after positioning the patient.
A tourniquet is applied to the upper arm, and a compression garment may be applied to the lower arm and hand to minimize swelling. The surgeon will make a few small incisions to introduce the arthroscope and small surgical instruments into the elbow joint. The joint will then be filled with fluid to allow the surgeon to clearly view the underlying structures of the elbow through the camera.
A clear view will reduce the risk of injury to nerves and blood vessels surrounding the elbow joint. The surgeon will evaluate the joint elbow condition before starting corrective procedures. In some cases, the entire joint may be assessed, which will require five to six small incisions.
Once the problem has been carefully determined, the surgeon will insert other tiny instruments through separate incisions to repair the elbow joint. Specialized instruments will be used for tasks such as cutting, shaving, grasping, suture passing, and tying the knot. In several cases, the surgeon may use special devices to anchor stitches into the bone.
At the end of the procedure, the arthroscopy incisions will be closed with sutures or skin adhesive. An absorbent dressing will be applied to the elbow. A plaster splint or an additional soft dressing may be placed to restrict movement and protect the elbow. Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler are board certified orthopedic surgeons receiving patients from Las Vegas, Nevada, and nearby areas for elbow surgery.
Total Elbow Replacement
While knee and hip replacement procedures are more common than elbow joint replacement, the procedure is just as successful in relieving joint pain and restoring normal function of the elbow. A few thousand elbow replacement procedures are performed every year in the US, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
In case of total elbow replacement surgery, the damaged components of the ulna and humerus are replaced with artificial components. The artificial elbow joint is produced with a plastic and metal hinge with two metal stems. The stems are designed to fit inside the hollow part of the bone called the canal.
The size of components will vary according to the type of elbow replacement. In a few cases, the surgeon may perform a partial elbow replacement. An experienced orthopedic surgeon will carefully determine the most appropriate type of elbow replacement before going ahead with the procedure.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9394