Elbow joint Replacement Surgery

About Elbow joint Replacement Surgery

The elbow is a hinge joint which is made up of three bones:

  1. The humerus (upper arm bone)
  2. The ulna (forearm bone on the pinky finger side)
  3. The radius (forearm bone on the thumb side)

During elbow replacement, a surgeon replaces your elbow with an artificial joint made from two implants that attach to the bones in your arm. A metal and plastic hinge joins the implants together.

Causes and Risk factors of Elbow Joint Replacement

Rheumatoid arthritis: Elbow replacement was originally developed for people with rheumatoid arthritis With this autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue — primarily the tissue lining the joints. It usually affects multiple joints, which may include the elbows, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. If symptoms become severe and cannot be relieved with nonsurgical measures, elbow replacement becomes an option.

Osteoarthritis: Commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis damages the slick cartilage that covers the ends of bones and helps joints move smoothly. It usually occurs in people 50 years of age and older and often in individuals with a family history of arthritis.

Post-traumatic arthritis :Osteoarthritis can develop in the elbow, but it’s most likely to affect people who have had a traumatic injury to the elbow or who put excess pressure on their elbows. They may include heavy machine operators, weightlifters and some athletes.

Symptoms of elbow Joint Disease

  • Elbow  pain that limits everyday activities, such as lifting or bending
  • Elbow pain that continues while resting, either day or night
  • Stiffness in a elbow that limits the ability to move
  • Inadequate pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy.

Orthopedic Evaluation

  1. Medical history :Orthopedic surgeon will gather information about your general health and ask questions about the extent of your elbow pain and how it affects your ability to perform everyday activities.
  2. Physical examination: This will assess hip mobility, strength, and alignment.
  3. Blood tests: It is also helpful the evaluation of the condition such as arthritis.
  4. X-rays: Which help to determine the extent of damage or deformity in your elbow.
  5. MRI(magnetic resonance imaging ): It may be needed to determine the condition of the bone and soft tissues of your elbow joint.

Surgery of Elbow Joint

  • It is most often done under general anesthesia.
  • Surgeon will make an incision (cut), usually at the back of the elbow.
  • Move muscles aside to get access to the bone.
  • Surgeon fit the metallic piece that will replace that side of the joint. The same preparation is done for the ulna.
  • Close the wound with sutures (stitches).

Complication of Elbow Joint Replacement Surgery

  • Infection
  • pain in elbow joint or arm
  • Injury to nerves and blood  vessels
  • Allergic reaction to the artificial joint
  • Broken bone
  • Stiffness or instability of the joint
  • Loosening or wearing of the artificial parts
  • Failure in the tendons of your arm.