Elbow Surgery

Accidents involving the elbow are becoming increasingly common these days in Quebec. Whether it’s simple elbow damage such as tendinitis, epicondylitis, loss of motion, or a distal biceps tendon tear, these accidents can cause severe pain and turn into a nightmare without proper medical treatment. With the spectacular advances in surgical techniques and the expertise of the surgeons, the patient satisfaction rate increases. Let’s find out a little more about the different types of elbow surgery in Quebec.

When should you have elbow surgery?

Elbow surgery is a solution recommended by a medical specialist (orthopaedist). It is almost mandatory in four cases. These are common and require substantial care. They are:

  • Trauma;
  • Nerve surgery;
  • Tendinitis;
  • Elbow osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

A violent effort can cause serious elbow injuries and trauma, as well as ligament injuries, damaged soft tissues, or elbow fractures, possibly leading to a stiffening of the limb. Immediate pain and loss of elbow function follow this trauma. With respect to nerve surgery, it is a matter of the compression or instability of the nerve trunks connecting the neck to the hand.

Furthermore, elbow tendinitis (or tennis elbow) is pain related to an athletic practice at a certain age (forties). Finally, elbow osteoarthritis stems from a trauma. In all cases, to improve your range of motion, it is important to receive adequate medical treatment, even surgical treatment.

What are the preoperative examinations?

To be eligible for tennis elbow surgery, some clinical examinations are necessary. The very first is a manual assessment preceded by a short discussion with the patient. At the end, the specialist surgeon identifies the painful area and makes a diagnosis. They may also require further clinical examinations:

  • An x-ray of the affected elbow;
  • An electromyogram (EMG);
  • An arthrogram of the elbow;
  • An MRI;
  • An ultrasound.

It should be noted that these different clinical examinations must be performed according to the recommendations of your orthopaedic surgeon.

How does an elbow operation unfold?

Following an injury or a proven trauma to the elbow, such as distal biceps tendon tear, care is provided by a specialist surgeon in an outpatient surgery unitLocal anaesthesia is applied precisely to the painful area before making the incision. Generally speaking, hospitalization is not necessary for elbow surgery, but depending on the case, such as an elbow joint replacement, you may have to go to the hospital or surgery centre.

Thanks to advances in orthopaedic surgery, arthroscopic techniques, artificial implants, and the occasional use of growth factors, the success rate of elbow operations is increasing. This elbow surgery should be coupled with rest and possibly physical therapy, especially for active people.

Recovery following elbow surgery

Most often, we wonder how long we will remain immobilized after the operation. It is important to know that it all depends on the condition that has been treated. Whatever the case, an elbow brace is used right after the procedure. Since the strength of the affected joint only becomes effective after six weeks, the mobilization is done gradually.

If you suffer from tendinitis or other less complex conditions, your mobilization is nearly automatic from the first few days, even right after the tennis elbow surgery. But if it is a complex elbow surgery such as an ulnar operation, this is a little trickier.

Remember: to get a healthy elbow back, your best friend is patience. Don’t hesitate to consult a doctor if you ever have persistent pain. While you wait, drink plenty of water (6 to 8 glasses per day) and avoid athletic activities involving elbow movements, such as a tennis game. You should consult an experienced surgeon or a physical therapist as soon as possible.

Why trust Dr. BEAUCHAMP?

An orthopaedic surgeon based in Montreal, Dr. Marc BEAUCHAMP is an expert in elbow surgery in Canada. Having proven himself following brilliant studies, he has provided proven solutions to elbow problems since 1996. This has placed him among the top 3 elbow surgeons in Montreal for several years. Make an appointment and set up a clinical examination as soon as possible.

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