Arthroscopic Treatment of Elbow Osteoarthritis

///Arthroscopic Treatment of Elbow Osteoarthritis

Arthroscopic treatment of elbow osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis

What is elbow osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis?

The elbow is a complicated hinge-joint that is in constant demand. The ability to move, lift, rotate and push the elbow make it susceptible to injury.  Osteoarthritis of the elbow is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bone breaks down and causes a “bone-on-bone” joint movement. This chronic condition causes pain, stiffness and loss of joint movement.

Post-traumatic arthritis is very similar to osteoarthritis, but instead of a “wear and tear” form of arthritis it is caused by previous trauma to the elbow. A fracture or dislocation of the elbow can have cartilage injury, leading to progressive deterioration of the joint. This includes fractures of the different bones of the elbow.  In complex injuries, there are often large cartilage defects and deformities of the elbow, leading to abnormal mechanics and rapid wear of the joint. Dr. James Mazzara, elbow surgeon, is skilled in treating all types of arthritis in the elbow including osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis. Patients in Manchester, South Windsor, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities can be treated successfully with arthroscopic treatment of elbow osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis.

Are you a candidate for arthroscopic treatment of elbow osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis?

There are two ways to initiate a consultation with Dr. Mazzara:

You can provide current X-rays and/or MRIs for a clinical case review with Dr. Mazzara.

You can schedule an office consultation with Dr. Mazzara.

Request Case Review or Office Consultation

What is arthroscopic treatment of elbow osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis?

Arthroscopic treatment of elbow osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis is a minimally invasive surgical technique. Dr. Mazzara uses a small incision in the elbow where he inserts a camera called an arthroscope to “see” the damage to the joint. Other small instruments are inserted in different incision to perform the surgery inside the elbow. Arthroscopic procedures done to correct osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis are as follows:

  • Arthroscopic debridement: removes loose bodies from the elbow joint, removes the inflamed synovium, shaves off bone spurs, as well as removes scar tissue in the elbow joint. Elbow arthroscopy is also very effective in treatment of catching and clicking from loose bodies.
  • Synovectomy and removal of osteophytes: in less advanced cases of osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis, Dr. Mazzara can remove the diseased and inflamed synovium. The synovium is a thin layer of tissue that surrounds the each joint. Bony projections called osteophytes can be removed at the same time, helping the joint to glide easier. Patients experience significant pain relief from this procedure as well as increased range of motion.
  • Osteotomy: Dr. Mazzara may remove a small section of the bone to reduce bone-on-bone contact.

What is the recovery time after arthroscopic treatment of osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis surgery?

Depending on the severity of the arthritis treated, recovery time will vary. Typically, the patient is sent home from out-patient surgery in a brace or splint and will keep the elbow immobile for 6 weeks. After that time, physical therapy is recommended. It is important to follow the arthroscopic rehabilitation regime that is set forth by Dr. Mazzara and by the physical therapist. Results of arthroscopic surgery are most favorable when a post-operative rehabilitation program, involving physical therapy and daily exercises, is implemented. Full recovery will occur in about 3 months.

For more information regarding arthroscopic treatment of elbow osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis, please contact the offices of Dr. James Mazzara, orthopedic elbow surgeon, treating patients in Manchester, South Windsor, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities.

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