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Specialists in the Field of Elbow Arthroscopy
Information About the Field of Elbow Arthroscopy
What Is Elbow Arthroscopy?
Elbow arthroscopy is an examination of the inner elbow joint. Arthroscopy is made up of the two Greek words "arthros" = joint and "scopein" = to look. One "looks" into the elbow joint.
When Is Elbow Endoscopy Advisable?
On the one hand, elbow arthroscopy can be carried out for diagnostic purposes, i.e., for the physician to make a directing diagnosis. However, this procedure is also useful in cases of injuries and wear and tear of the joint. Common reasons for recommending an elbow arthroscopy are chronic elbow pain as well as inflammation and arthrosis .
Procedure Elbow Arthroscopy
Elbow arthroscopy is one of the "minimally invasive" procedures due to the small skin incisions, which means that very little tissue is injured. Usually, the examination is carried out in an outpatient setting, which means that the patient comes to the clinic one hour before the procedure and is discharged home the same day or the next day at the latest.
During elbow arthroscopy, the affected area is first locally anesthetized. Upon the patient's wish, the examination can also be carried out under general anesthesia. A probe with a light source and a special camera is inserted into the elbow joint through two small skin incisions. The images are transmitted to a monitor, which allows the doctor to assess the elbow bones and cartilage and diagnose joint damage on the spot. If necessary, any existing damage can be corrected immediately. If, for example, a torn tendon is noticed, the damaged part is removed until only healthy and firm tissue is left. After the examination, all instruments are removed, and the wounds are carefully sutured. A sterile dressing is applied to prevent infection.
Aftercare and Healing Time
Usually, the elbow joint can be reloaded immediately or gradually. If a lot of tissue was removed or the therapy was more complicated overall, further treatment lasting several days may follow the examination. Doctors often recommend a hospital stay of two to three days for older patients. In addition to the gradual load, regular physiotherapy with movement exercises is very important to prevent stiffening joints. Patients are also given a drug to inhibit blood clotting for thromboses prevention. After two to three weeks, a follow-up check should be carried out by the family doctor.
The length of time a patient is on sick leave after an elbow arthroscopy depends on the type of procedure performed and the physical strain at work, and physical fitness. If the physician only obtains an overview to make a diagnosis, the joint can be fully loaded again within a few days. If there is cartilage or ligament damage, it takes about two to three weeks until the elbow is functional again. The healing process can take longer, up to six weeks, if the elbow has had some stitches or surgery.
Which Doctors and Clinics Are Specialized in Elbow Arthroscopy?
A specialist in orthopedics usually carries out elbow arthroscopy. Sometimes there are even specially trained elbow surgeons who exclusively carry out arthroscopies.
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