Elbow Replacement is surgery to replace the bones of the elbow joint with artificial joint parts (prosthetics). This surgery may also be termed as “Total elbow arthroplasty”, “Endoprosthetic elbow replacement”. This surgery is done when the elbow joint is badly damaged and the arm cannot be used due to pain.
What is Elbow Joints?
Elbow consists of two bones i.e. the upper arm bone “Humerus” and the lower arm bone “Ulna”. The bones meet at a point known as Elbow Joint which is covered by articular cartilage and tissues.
Condition for Elbow Replacement:
- Osteoarthritis a degenerative disorder in which rate of cartilage generation is less than that of breakdown.
- Rheumatoid arthritis an inflammation of joints tissue can cause destruction of cartilage.
- Severe fracture in the upper or lower arm near the elbow joint.
- Tumor in or around the elbow
- Nerve pain in the elbow
- Decreased muscle mass
- Serious injury while playing games
- Chronic pain in the elbow
- Problem in the movement of the elbow
- Swelling, tenderness and staining around the elbow
- Pain with gripping or carrying heavy objects
Procedure of Elbow Replacement:
- Step1 – Anesthesia: General anesthesia although sometimes either spinal or an epidural anesthesia and a nerve block has been given to patient.
- Step 2 – An incision is made in front of damaged elbow to expose the elbow joint. The damaged bone and cartilage on the bone surface is removed. The surrounding muscles and ligaments are preserved.
- Step 3 –The surfaces of the bones that hold the prosthetics components is shaped. The upper bone humerus and the lower bone ulna is drilled to insert one stem of the prosthetics into each.
- Step 4–The prosthetics components is implanted over both bones with the help of the cement.
- Step 5– The wound is closed stitches and covered with dressing
The whole procedure takes about 2 hours.
Benefits of Elbow Surgery
- Complete absence of pain and discomfort
- Enhanced flexibility and movement
- Prevents further deterioration
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