Get answers to your Shoulder and Elbow questions.
Total elbow arthroplasty; Endoprosthetic elbow replacement
Elbow replacement is surgery to replace the bones of the elbow joint with artificial joint parts (prosthetics).
The elbow joint connects two bones:
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 different size people.
You may receive general anesthesia before surgery. This means you will be asleep and pain-free during surgery. Some patient may receive regional anesthesia instead. This means, you will be awake, but your arm will be numb so that you will not feel pain. If you receive regional anesthesia, you will also be given medicine to help you relax during the operation.
Your surgeon will make an surgical cut on your arm to reveal your elbow joint. Usually this is made in the back of the upper and lower arm. The surgen then removes damaged tissue and parts of the arm bones that make up the elbow joint.
A drill is used to make a hole in the center of the two arm bones. The end of the artifical 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.
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:
Azar FM, Calandruccio JH. Arthroplasty of the shoulder and elbow. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 8.
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