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Elbow Replacement

Elbow replacement is surgery to replace the bones that make up the elbow joint with artificial joint partsElbow Replacement- (prosthetic components).


  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Severely broken bone at the joint
  • Severely damaged or torn tissues in the elbow
  • Tumor in or around the elbow

An incision, usually in the back of the upper and lower arm, is done to expose the elbow joint. The end of the bones of the elbow joint is removed along with any damaged tissues. The surgeon then removes a portion of the center of the humerus and ulna and inserts one part of the artificial joint into each bone. The artificial joint consists of two stems made of high-quality metal. They are joined together with a metal and plastic hinge that allows the movement for the joint. Orthopedic cement known as bone cement is used to hold the stems in place.

The two stems are then attached together with the hinge system. The wound is closed with stitches, a suitable bandage and a splint will be used for stability.

Elbow replacement surgery is done on patients where the joint has been severely damaged.


Bleeding or infection is the risk as in any surgery. The other possible risks could be:

  • Nerve damage
  • Damage to Blood vessels
  • Breakage of bones
  • Dislocation of the artificial joint
  • Loosening of the implant over time
  • Allergic reaction to the implant

The patient may receive general anesthesia (unconscious, no pain) or local anesthesia along with a medine to relax during the operation.


The patient may stay in the hospital for up to 3 - 4 days.

Basic exercises are adviced by the surgeon at the appropriate time. Assistance for everyday activities, such as driving, shopping, bathing, meal preparation and household chores would be required for up to six weeks.

Some patients may begin to regain function of the elbow as soon as 12 weeks after surgery, although additional recovery can take up to a year.

The patient should not lift more than five pounds with the operated arm, even when fully recovered.


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