Arthroscopy of the elbow

Arthroscopy is a type of surgery that uses an arthroscope (thin fiber optic camera) to visualize the area to be operated on, as well as multiple small portals through which the surgeon’s tools are manipulated. Elbow arthroscopy is used for diagnostic purposes or pathological joint removal.


Elbow arthroscopy is performed under local anesthesia of the operated limb. The type of anesthesia is discussed by the anesthesiologist before surgery. During the time of the operation the blood supply to the limb is cut off by placing a special band, similar to a tourniquet which measures blood pressure. The joint is filled with fluid. The procedure is performed by a few millimeter incision, and all moves are observed on the monitor. Stitches and a dressing are the last step of the procedure. After surgery, the patient moves independently. The arm is placed in a sling. The next day, or in some cases on the day of surgery, the patient may be discharged home. Absorbable sutures do not require subsequent removal .

Postoperative recommendations

  • The patient should be given a ride home on the day of discharge. The patient should not drive a car or use public transport.
  • You must purchase the prescribed prescription medications given by your doctor.
  • Dressings should be changed according to your doctor, avoiding the soaking of wounds.
  • A follow up is arranged in an indicated time period, but if there is a high degree of pain and swelling, flux from the wound or a fever, you should contact your doctor immediately.
  • Recovery can take from 2 to a few weeks, depending on the type of surgery.

Removal of loose debris

The elbow joint can collect loose debris or cartilage as a result of arthritis or injury. These loose bodies within the joint can cause pain and limited motion and lead to osteoarthritis, cartilage and bone necrosis, instability of the elbow or of previous injuries.  Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive way to remove this problem debris.

Elbow arthrolysis

When conservative therapy is ineffective, it is necessary to undergo  elbow arthrolysis. It involves the removal of obstacles limiting movement in the joint, such as loose bodies, ossification, or capsular contracture . Arthrolysis is carried out by using an arthroscope and special tools. The use of this minimally invasive technique speeds up the healing process. Immediately after surgery, the patient begins rehabilitation, so that the process of returning to full fitness proceedes in the shortest possible time.


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