Total Elbow Replacement

Article by Dr. Darren R Keiser MD

total elbow replacement surgeryAlthough total elbow replacement is much less common than knee or hip replacement, it is just as successful in relieving joint pain and returning people to activities they enjoy.

In 2010, about 3,000 people in the U.S. had elbow replacement surgery, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Whether you have just begun exploring treatment options or have already decided to have elbow replacement surgery, this article will help you understand more about this valuable procedure.

In total elbow replacement surgery, the damaged parts of the humerus and ulna are replaced with artificial components. The artificial elbow joint is made up of a metal and plastic hinge with two metal stems. The stems fit inside the hollow part of the bone called the canal.

There are different types of elbow replacements, and components come in different sizes. There are also partial elbow replacements, which may be used in very specific situations. A discussion with your doctor will help to determine what type of elbow replacement is best for you.

If you decide to have elbow replacement surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon may ask you to schedule a complete physical examination with your family physician several weeks before surgery. This is needed to make sure you are healthy enough to have the surgery and complete the recovery process.

Many patients with chronic medical conditions, like heart disease, must also be evaluated by a specialist, such a cardiologist, before the surgery.

**Call the office of Dr. Darren Keiser to set up an appointment

Article URL: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00592