Elbow Surgery

Elbow Surgery Procedures and Recovery

Leaders in orthopedic elbow surgery, the surgeons at the Steadman Clinic see patients at all fitness levels from athletes to recreational enthusiasts to the average individual. The elbow is a joint made up of three bones, the humerus, radius and ulna. The humerus is the bone in the upper arm, and the radius and ulna make up the lower arm. The end of the humerus that connects into the elbow joint has two large bumps, which are called epicondyles.

Elbow Surgery Procedures

Tennis Elbow Surgery

The most common orthopedic injury to the elbow is called lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is often caused by injury to the muscle in the forearm and typically involves extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) tendon. The ECRB tendon stabilizes the wrist when there is little to no bend in the elbow, for example when a tennis racquet is swung, which gives the common name of tennis elbow. The overuse and repetitiveness of this motion results in microtears in the ECRB tendon near the point that it attaches to the outside bump of the humerus, called the lateral epicondyle. These tears cause pain and inflammation in the elbow. 
Symptoms of tennis elbow include weakened strength in the hand, or pain in the outer elbow. To diagnose tennis elbow,  your Steadman surgeon will talk through all of your symptoms and discuss factors in your everyday life that may have contributed to the injury. There are also tests and movements your doctor will have you perform to better determine the extent of the injury, as well as ordering an x-ray of the joint. 
Depending on the extent of the injury and the patient’s activity level, treatment of the injury can range from surgery to non-surgical, which includes rest, anti-inflammatory medications, injections, and physical therapy. 


Other Types of Elbow Surgery

Arthroscopic Elbow Surgery
Tommy John Surgery
Ulnar Nene Entrapment (Cubital Tunnel Release)
Tendon Repair
Total Elbow Replacement
Golfer's Elbow (Medid Epicadylitis)
Distal Biceps Repair
Elbow Arthritis
Arthroscopic & Open Treatment of Elbow Stiffness
Elbow Fractures (Radid Head Fractures, Olecranon Fractures)
Tricips Repair
Osteochondral Transplantation
Radial New Entrapment (Radid Tunnel Syndrome)
Lateral Callateral Ligament Repair
Medid Collaeral Ligament Repair
Capitellum OCD (Osteochonditits Dessicans)
Heterotopic Ossification, Bone Removal
Olecranon Bursitis, Bursectomy
Ulnar Nerve Transposition

Making an Appointment

Make an appointment with one of our elbow surgeons today to begin the steps of finding a solution to your elbow pain. 
It is beneficial to bring x-rays and previous surgical information to your first appointment with the surgeon, so they can determine the best course of action.  Other items to bring to your appointment:
  • Driver’s License or a valid ID
  • List of Medications
  • Insurance Information
  • Any other relevant medical information
To find out if your insurance is accepted at The Steadman Clinic, be sure to visit our insurance page.
Preparing for Surgery

When preparing for your elbow procedure it is important to think through what will be needed post surgery.  For example what changes will need to be made at home, what things will you need help carrying, how much time should you take off work, etc.. Be sure to make a list of any questions that you have to ask your elbow surgeon prior to surgery so that you can prepare ahead of time.

It can also be helpful to meet with your physical therapist prior to your surgery as doing some of the postoperative exercises prior can help with recovery. It you are overweight, it is recommended that you try to lose a few pounds prior to surgery as that will help with recovery.

For more on how to prepare for your elbow surgery, please visit our Preparing for Surgery page. 

Recovery from Elbow Surgery

Depending on the severity of the injury, the recovery process following elbow surgery can be up to several weeks or even months.

Following your surgery you will typically begin a customized physical therapy plan developed specifically for you and your elbow injury. The physical therapist (PT) will go over specific exercises that will help you to increase circulation, motion and muscle strength.

The length of your hospital stay will also depend on your surgery and the recommendation of your doctor.  Once you are released to go home, you will continue physical therapy for the designated period your doctor has prescribed.

Read more on Rehabilitation and Training.


Elbow Specialists

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