Osteoarthritis of the elbow

Unlike osteoarthritis in other joints, osteoarthritis that primarily affects the elbow occurs in younger patients (in their thirties). It is often caused by a family or genetic pathology or is the result of previous fractures or dislocations.

The elbow tolerates osteoarthritis well; consultations are usually late, when the osteoarthritis is already at an advanced stage. Pain associated with extreme movements (carrying a bucket, for example) is the most common complaint. The loss of motion is gradual and becomes disabling when more than 30° extension or 40° flexion is lost.

Other than avoiding extreme efforts that involve impact or vibration, there is as yet no treatment to prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. Instead the symptoms are treated (standard treatment for inflammation: rest, cold, NSAIDs, physiotherapy).

If osteoarthritis progresses to the point where it causes chronic, debilitating pain, debridement surgery (the excision of bone spurs, or osteophytes, with or without capsular release or synovectomy) may be proposed.

Total joint replacement may also be indicated but is reserved for extreme cases of severe disability. The success rate of this tricky procedure is lower than for rheumatoid arthritis.

The outcome of joint replacement surgery is mitigated when osteoarthritis is the result of a fracture or dislocation.

“Extraordinary surgeon. Also a very pleasant person. He performed surgery on my elbow and 5 months later I was on the tennis court. I am playing ever since, constantly, two times a week. I wished I met him few years earlier for my shouder surgery. All the best Dr. Beauchamp and thank you for giving me back the sport I love the most. “