When elbow pain caused by injury, arthritis or tendonitis lingers despite the use of conservative treatment, elbow surgery may help get you back to your full potential.
What it is
Many elbow conditions respond well to non-surgical treatment. But if medication, time or physical therapy doesn’t bring relief, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Surgery to address problems within the elbow may be performed using arthroscopy, a minimally invasive technique that utilizes tiny instruments and a miniature camera. Elbow surgery is frequently an outpatient procedure – no need to stay in the hospital overnight.
Good for treating
Conditions that may be helped by surgery include:
- fracture, dislocation or other traumatic injury
- overuse and strains such as tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow
- ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) rupture
- ulnar nerve entrapment
- loose bodies
- osteochondritis dissecans
What to expect
Once you’ve made the decision to have surgery, your doctor and his or her supporting staff will ensure you are well-prepared for the upcoming procedure. You’ll receive instructions on how to prepare for the operation, learn what to expect in the hospital or surgery center, and get helpful information on how to plan for recovery at home.
Reviewed by: L. Pearce McCarty, III, MD, orthopedic surgeon
First published: 6/1/2018