Elbow replacement surgery is the same idea as having worn parts are
taken out and new parts installed in their place. In elbow surgery,
the damaged portions of the elbow bones are removed, and the elbow is
replaced with metal and plastic implants. Here's what you can expect
on a typical day of elbow surgery:
- A small tube (intravenous line) is inserted into your
unaffected arm. This tube is used to administer antibiotics and
other medication during your surgery.
- You're taken to the
operating room and given anesthesia.
- Anesthesia takes
effect and your elbow is scrubbed and sterilized with a special
- Your elbow replacement surgery will likely take
between one and three hours and begins with an incision over your
elbow to expose the joint.
- Bones are fully visible to the
surgeon, and special precision guides and instruments are used to
remove the damaged surfaces and cut and shape the ends of the
humerus (upper arm bone) and ulna (forearm bone) to accept the
- The implants are inserted and fixed into place with
a special kind of epoxy cement for bones.
- The two parts of
the hinge are then brought together and secured with a locking
- When the surgeon is satisfied with the fit and function,
the incision is closed and covered with dressings.
sterile bandage is applied.
- Your arm is put in a splint and
may also be wrapped in an ice pack to help control pain and
- You're taken to the recovery room where you will be
- Anesthesia wears off, and you slowly
regain consciousness. A nurse is with you and may encourage you to
cough or breathe deeply to help clear your lungs. You're given pain
- You are fully awake and are taken to your
- Your elbow remains swollen and tender for a