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The elbow joint is probably one of the most important joints in the human body. Any fracture, problem or injury in the joint can lead to a lot of complications, which would need the attention of an elbow injury doctor for surgery. Elbow arthroscopy is exactly that. Here’s everything you need to know about elbow arthroscopy.

What Is Elbow Arthroscopy?

An elbow arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which a small and thin device, known as an arthroscope, is entered into the body and the affected area is scanned and evaluated for injuries and other problems. Once the problem is identified, it is then surgically rectified.

This procedure has been around for years, but there are several modifications and tweaks done on the arthroscope, making the device smaller and easier to maneuver in the human body. Since the arthroscope is small, only small incisions are made, rather than big ones, this ensures that the patient is comfortable and that the scars heal quickly.

When Is Elbow Arthroscopy Done?

Now that you know what elbow arthroscopy is, let’s talk about when it is recommended by a doctor.

  • If you are experiencing a lot of pain in the elbow area, so much so that you are having difficulty in even lifting up your arm or rotating it, then an X-ray is recommended. An X-ray will find whether something is wrong with your elbow which is causing this pain to occur. If there is any injury in your elbow, then the doctor will recommend an elbow arthroscopy.
  • If you are unable to feel sensation around the elbow, along with recurring pains, then it probably means that your dislocated elbow is pressing down on some vital nerves and veins, which is causing you to lose sensation in the arm. You need to get it checked immediately, otherwise things can turn out badly.
  • If you experienced swelling and redness in your elbow area, and on pressing the area, you feel a lot of pain and an uneasy sensation then it probably means that you have dislocated your elbow and it is poking your muscles and flesh nearby, causing the swelling and pain.
  • An arthroscopy can also be done if you have fallen on your elbow and caused a fracture or injury. These types of cases are very common with elbow arthroscopy and most people who suffer impact injuries are people who play a lot of sports or athletes.

The Surgery

The surgical procedure of an elbow arthroscopy is pretty simple, but still, it requires meticulous handling and proper planning beforehand. Once the x-ray results are out and a proper diagnosis on your elbow is done, the doctor will suggest a surgery right away, depending on the gravity of your injury. You will go under anesthesia and your elbow will be exposed to the surgeon. The surgeon will make a small 2-to-3-inch incision.

Then a fluid will be inserted in your elbow to help the surgeon get a better look at the shape of your elbow. Then an arthroscope is inserted and your injury is evaluated. If the injury is small, then the arthroscope can take care of it, but if the injury is severe, then the stitches are placed and another treatment plan will be proposed which would include a more invasive surgery for the bone.

The Recovery

After the arthroscopy is done, the patient is good to go home after 2 to 3 hours of observation. If the treatment required is invasive, then you will be scheduled for another surgery, which can take more time.


Depending on the severity of your injury, there are complications which could occur. There are little to no complications if your injury is small and miniscule. You can get back to daily life activities within no time at all. If your injury is severe, then you need to take care of it properly before returning to normal life, otherwise infections and more dislocations can take place.

There you have it! Now you know all of the details of an elbow arthroscopy, how it’s done, when it’s done, how invasive it is, the healing time, post-surgery recovery and everything in between. Go to an orthopedic elbow specialist Woodbridge for expert advice on your elbow injury or elbow pain.

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