Elbow replacement involves replacing the native joint with a metallic prosthesis. It is effective in relieving severe arthritic pain and improving the range of motion of the elbow. Your surgeon in charge will review your elbow before surgery to ensure it is suitable for replacement, and also to confirm more conservative and non-surgical options have failed before proceeding with a joint replacement.
The procedure typically takes 2 hours. Surgery around the elbow joint is challenging because of the many important nerves and blood vessels that travel around the elbow, as well as the potential for stiffness after surgery. It is important to have a surgeon well-trained in elbow surgery to do this procedure.
Post-Operative Elbow Replacement Recovery
Immediately after the surgery, you will be given painkillers to control your pain. Early but cautious post-operative rehabilitation and mobilization is crucial for elbow surgery, as the elbow has a propensity to stiffen up. Your surgeon in charge will tell you how much movement is allowed at different phase of your recovery.
Most patient recover from their condition about 4 to 6 weeks after elbow replacement surgery. Bruising and swelling around the elbow is common after elbow replacement, and is not a cause for concern.
There will be restrictions on how much weight you will be allowed to carry on the arm with an elbow replacement. Performing all daily functional activities will not be a problem, but body building and heavy manual activities are discouraged.