Total Elbow Replacement

Arthritis of the elbow is not common. In occurs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and sometimes with major wear and tear and after a serious accident. It can be treated with tablets, physiotherapy and cortisone injections and keyhole surgery. If these measures fail, then the only alternative is elbow replacement surgery. Most people do not realise that total elbow replacement had been around for about 20 years and is very successful. Patients report no pain and increased range of movement compared with prior to the surgery. Unfortunately, in all reported series, a proportion of patients (as many as 40%) do get significant complications, including infection and nerve damage. These are serious and prevent a successful outcome. It is important that this operation is only performed by fully trained surgeons, who have, ideally, performed many replacements so that they have significant experience.