Structure of an Elbow
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What is Total Elbow Replacement?In case of severe arthritis or multiple fractures of the elbow joint an elbow replacement surgery is recommended. In this surgery the elbow joint is replaced by an artificial joint which consist of two metal stems and a hinge made up of metal or plastic. During the surgery the stems are inserted inside the hollow part of the bone called canal. Artificial elbow joints can either be of linked (semi-constrained) or unlinked (constrained) type. In a linked type of joints all the parts of the joint are physically connected to each other whereas for an unlinked type, there is no physical connection between the parts of the joint. The unlinked type design depends on the surrounding ligaments and muscles to help the joint to hold together. Other than the total elbow replacement, partial elbow replacement can also be done in specific situations.
Why do you need a Total Elbow Replacement?There are various reasons that cause severe elbow pain or swelling up of elbow joint. Some of them are:
Preparations to be Done Before Surgery
Recovery After the Surgery
After the surgery, doses of antibiotics are given in order to prevent infections and relieve pain. Patient is relieved from the hospital after 2-4 days of surgery and is allowed to eat solid food a day after surgery. In case of severe pain even after a few weeks of surgery, it is advised to talk to the surgeon.
Some hand and wrist exercises are recommended to avoid stiffness and swelling. After the incision heals, elbow exercises are taught so as to speed up the recovery process. It is advised not to put any weight on the arm.
There is no major complication, related to a total elbow replacement surgery, during or after the surgery. However, there can be general complications like