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Elbow replacement surgery replaces damaged parts of the elbow with an artificial elbow, made with metal, plastic, ceramic, or a combination of these
Arthritis is a group of conditions that cause damage to one or more joints. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis where there is gradual wear and tear of a joint. Some other types of arthritis are associated with inflammation of the joints that can eventually lead to severe joint damage. Arthritis eventually wears away the normal cartilage covering the surface of the joint and the bone underneath becomes damaged. This causes pain and stiffness in the joint, which can interfere with normal activities.
You should get less pain and be able to move your arm more easily.
Sometimes it is possible to have a smaller operation to remove inflamed tissue from your elbow joint (synovectomy). All these measures become less effective if your arthritis gets worse and this is when your surgeon may recommend an elbow replacement.
Like all surgical procedures, there are some levels of risks to consider. Some of these can be serious and can even cause death. However, you can speak to your doctor about the following general and specific complications that may worry you.
Most people make a good recovery, have less pain, and can move their elbow better. An artificial elbow never feels quite the same as a normal elbow. An elbow replacement can wear out with time.
An elbow replacement is usually suitable for people who have arthritis. If you have severe pain, stiffness and disability, an elbow replacement should reduce your pain and help you to move your arm more easily. To find out more, call us on 0808 101 0337.
Author: Prof Adam Watts MBBS FRCS (Tr. & Orth.)