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Elbow replacement

Elbow can also be affected by osteo or rheumatoid arthritis. Elbow joint replacement can effectively treat the problems caused by arthritis of the elbow. The procedure is more widely used in aging adults to replace joints damaged by fractures. In elbow replacement surgery, the painful surfaces of the damaged elbow are replaced with artificial elbow parts. One part fits into humerus (arm bone) and another part fits into ulna (strongest bone in the forearm). The two parts are then connected and held together by a pin. The resulting hinge allows the elbow to bend.

About Elbow Replacement Surgery

Elbow Replacement Surgery is usually done to replace the bones of the elbow joint with artificial joint parts.

The elbow joint connects two bones:

  • The humerus in the upper arm
  • The ulna in the lower arm

The artificial elbow joint has two stems made of high-quality metal. A metal and plastic hinge joins the stems together and allows the artificial joint to bend. Artificial joints come in different sizes to fit people of various sizes.

You may receive general anesthesia before surgery. This means you will be asleep and pain-free during surgery. Some patients may receive regional anesthesia instead, and will be awake, but their arm will be numb and they will not feel pain. Patients on regional anesthesia will also be given medicine to help relax during the operation.

The Procedure

The surgeon will make a surgical cut on the arm to reveal the elbow joint. Usually this is made in the back of the upper and lower arm

Damaged tissue and parts of the arm bones that make up the elbow joint are removed

A drill is used to make a hole in the center of the two arm bones. The end of the artificial elbow joint stems are placed into each bone. The two stems are attached together with a hinge

The wound is closed with stitches, and a bandaged is applied. Your arm may be placed in a splint to keep it stable

Why Elbow Replacement Surgery?

Elbow Replacement Surgery is usually done if the elbow joint is badly damaged and you have pain or cannot use your arm. Some causes of damage are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Poor outcome from previous elbow surgery
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Fracture of the upper or lower arm near the elbow
  • Badly damaged or torn tissues in the elbow
  • Tumor in or around the elbow

The Risks

For any anesthesia:

  • Allergic reactions to medicines
  • Breathing problems

For any surgery:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clot
  • Infection

Additional Risk Factors:

  • Allergic reaction to the artificial joint
  • Blood vessel damage during surgery
  • Bone break during surgery
  • Dislocation of the artificial joint
  • Loosening of the artificial joint over time
  • Nerve damage during surgery

The Result

Elbow Replacement Surgery eases pain for most people. A second elbow replacement surgery is usually not as successful as the first one.

Ortho One Orthopaedic Speciality Centre
657, Trichy Road, Singanallur, Coimbatore - 641005
Tamil Nadu, India.
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