Your elbow is one of the most important joints -- essential to proper functioning, work, play and all around living. Of course, your elbow depends on the integrity of its ligaments, tendons, muscles and bones.
It is possible to rid yourself of pain or stiffness in your elbow -- even if you have endured years of pain or suffered a traumatic injury. Whether you have a chronic condition or a recent development, Dr. (doctor) can help restore your function and range of motion.
Many people suffer from three painful conditions that affect the elbow joint -- elbow instability, arthritis and tendonitis. Surgical procedures may be required to help relieve pain and boost function where these occur.
Instability injuries are largely seen in athletes who engage in repetitive throwing. They also affect people who have had a sudden fall. Two key ligaments act as hinges to maintain elbow stability. The lateral collateral ligament and the medial collateral ligament – and these are most often involved in elbow instability injuries.
Reconstructive surgery is the usual treatment for elbow instability injuries. This surgery reconstructs the biomechanics of the joint to repair and replace the ligaments, providing stability to relieve symptoms and to help prevent arthritis over the long-term. The alignment of the ligament reconstruction is critical; a number of nerves are in close proximity to these ligaments. Therefore these surgeries require a team with experience in dealing with elbow injuries.
Rehabilitation following surgery is also an important component in restoring function.
Total Elbow Replacement Surgery/Arthroplasty
Arthritis of the elbow can develop from repetitive trauma or severe forms of arthritis that affect the whole body, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Joint replacement surgery can help relieve pain and improve motion. This can be achieved either by replacing a part of the joint, such as the top of the radius, or by replacing the entire joint through arthroplasty.
In young patients with an active lifestyle, the goal is to make sure that all possible conservative options have been used so that the device is not implanted at too young an age.
Decompression Surgery / Tendonitis
Decompression surgery can be very effective in patients who have exhausted conservative treatment for tendonitis, where chronic tearing of the muscle attachment produces pain. This surgery removes dead or inflamed tissue and reattaches them to muscles in the forearm.
The epicondyles are the bony parts of the elbow that protrude. The tendons attach to the outside (the lateral side) of the elbow are involved in tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). Muscles and tendons on the inside of the forearm leading to the elbow are involved in tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow.