Elbow replacement - Operation
Replacing the entire elbow joint is recommended in very few cases. However, this procedure can achieve very good results, especially in complex fractures of the elbow and in the case of rheumatoid arthritis. The elbow is vitally important in the functional use of the upper limbs. It is mainly responsible for the necessary reach in the body’s immediate vicinity. In the surgical procedure the elbow joint is entirely replaced with a resection of the radial head. Afterwards a prosthesis is inserted, cemented into the upper and forearm. This achieves virtually total flexibility and the patient’s strength can be gradually built up. Heavier loads on this elbow are contraindicated since the prosthesis coming loose is a possible complication of this procedure. Repeated X-ray checks are carried out for this purpose. This procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and the patient spends a minimum of one night in hospital. A couple of weeks cast immobilisation followed by bracing is recommended.