Our highly regarded medical staff at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital has a lot of surgical experience and is trained to ensure the safety of our patients.
Because of an illness or even an injury, the elbow can be damaged and worn out. If this happens, strength in that arm decreases, and there could be constant pain. If normal medication doesn’t work, and elbow replacement surgery might be needed.
The elbow is a visible hinge joint between the humerus, the radius, and the ulna. It allows our hands to be moved to and away from the body. Sometimes, because of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or because of injuries, the elbow can suffer extensive damage that leaves the patient in constant pain.
Elbow replacement surgery is the procedure in which the joint is replaced with an artificial implant in order for the patient to be relieved of discomfort and regain mobility in the arm.
The patient is put under general anesthesia so he won’t feel pain.
The surgeon will make an incision on the elbow and cut through the skin, tendons, and bone.
The join is taken out and replaced with an artificial one, made from metal and a plastic hinge with two metal stems. They are attached to the bones in the arm.
After making sure the joint is properly attached to the bones, the surgeon closes the wound, stitches it up and the procedure is done.
Because it requires a lot of precision, the surgery can take up to a few hours to be completed.
This type of surgery can help the patient in many ways:
- It can help the patient regain mobility in his arm
- The patient will stop suffering from constant pain in the elbow
- Activities enjoyed before the injury can be performed again
- Day-to-day comfort will be significantly higher
Because this procedure involves cutting ligaments and bones, the recovery period is a fairly long one. The patient will have to remain in the hospital for 4 to 5 days after the surgery so he can be monitored to ensure that there will be no complications. The arm will have to be kept in a splint for 1-2 weeks, and strong pain medication will be prescribed. Patients will have trouble picking up even light things for up to two months after the procedure.
There are a number of risks attached to this surgery. The most common ones are infection of the wound, bleeding and blood clots, and extreme pain due to the surgery. In some rare cases, the body can be allergic to the artificial joint and provoke a reaction. In very rare cases, there were injuries to the tendons and blood vessels which lead to failure in the tendons and permanent weakness in the arm.