Elbow Replacement Surgery
Elbow joint replacement is much less common than knee or hip replacement, but it can be just as successful in relieving joint pain. In 2010, about 3,000 people in the U.S. had elbow replacement surgery, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. To reach the elbow joint, your surgeon will make an incision (cut), usually at the back of the elbow. After making the incision, your surgeon will gently move muscles aside to get access to the bone. After removing scar tissue and spurs around the joint, your surgeon will prepare the humerus to fit the metallic piece that will replace that side of the joint. The same preparation is done for the ulna. The replacement stems are placed into the humerus and ulna bones, and kept in place with a bone cement. The two stems are connected by a hinge pin. After the wound is closed, a padded dressing is then placed to protect the incision while it heals.