Elbow Surgery and Treatment

What type of joint is the elbow?

The elbow joint is a hinge joint comprised of three bones: the humerus, radius and ulna. Your elbow helps you perform simple tasks, and often it isn't considered much until it is injured or starts to hurt.

Elbow injuries like tennis elbow are most often thought of as sports injuries, but athletes aren't the only ones who can experience elbow injury or pain. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your elbow, you should contact an orthopedist right away.

Sport Woman with elbow pain, sports exercising injury

Alexander Orthopaedic Associates is the only orthopedic practice in the Tampa Bay area that specializes in outpatient joint replacement surgery.

Common elbow injuries

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, refers to a tendonitis condition when tendons become swollen and painful.

There are various ways to treat this type of elbow condition. In some cases, non-operative measures are taken, such as using anti-inflammatory or other prescription medicines, splinting, or using regenerative medicine. Surgery may be used if the tendons in the arm become detached.

Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow, also referred to as medial epicondylitis, happens when damage occurs to the tendons and muscles that control your wrist and fingers, causing pain or stiffness in the elbow that might spread into the forearm.

Initial treatment options may include rest, ice, over-the-counter pain relievers, use of a brace, and stretch and strengthening exercises. Surgery might be an option If your signs and symptoms continue after six to 12 months of conservative treatments.

Elbow Fracture

Symptoms after an elbow fracture may include pain, swelling, bruising and stiffness in and around the elbow region. During the time of impact, a snap or pop may be felt or heard. In some cases, they might be weakness or numbness in the arm, wrist, and hand.

Low-risk elbow fractures are typically treated by using a sling, cast or splint when the position of the elbow bones are proper. Fractures that cause the bones to shift out of place or cause instability in the joint are more likely to require surgery. If the skin is broken over the elbow fracture, urgent surgery is highly recommended to reduce the risk of infection.

Types of elbow surgery

Elbow Arthroscopy

Elbow arthroscopy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure used to inspect, diagnose and repair problems inside the joint. The procedure consists of using a small camera and operating through small incisions. The postoperative recovery time is roughly six weeks.

Total Elbow Arthroplasty

In this procedure performed for elbow arthritis, the joint is replaced with an artificial elbow and requires extensive physical therapy.

Newer, longer-lasting and more effective implants mean that most patients regain mobility within a few weeks of the surgery.

Dr. Penello has been performing elbow implant procedures, — as well as arthroscopic and regenerative medicine —  for almost a decade. Alexander Orthopaedics is one of the few surgeons in the area that perform total elbow arthroplasty and has a high patient satisfaction rating.

Bicep Tendon Repair

The bicep has two tendons, one attached to the shoulder and the other to the elbow. In Bicep Tendon Repair, a small incision is made in the forearm and a tendon repair device is used to repair and fine-tune the tension on the tendon that is needed for function and mobility.

This procedure removes the guesswork from calibrating tendon tension and provides a more efficient repair.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections

Platelet-rich plasma injections are a form of regenerative medicine. The injections stimulate tissue to heal itself.

Stem cells can be added at the time of surgery to enhance the healing process. The success rate of this procedure is high if it is done for the correct symptoms.

Cubital Tunnel Release

When the ulnar nerve becomes compressed or trapped, it can result in mild to moderate pain and numbness or tingling in the arm, hand and fingers. This is known as "cubital tunnel syndrome."

Cubital tunnel release involves decompressing the ulnar nerve at the elbow. The nerve is then moved to prevent being compressed in the future. This is an outpatient procedure, and most patients are fully recovered within approximately six weeks.

Elbow surgery recovery process

There are many variables that will affect the recovery process (amount of rehab and healing time) for elbow surgery, such as age, type of condition, type of injury, and the complexity of the procedure.

Please consult with our orthopedic surgical team for more information on the recovery process.

Benefits of outpatient elbow surgery

Outpatient elbow surgery helps patients return home the day of their surgery versus an overnight stay at the hospital or surgical facility. There’s also a decreased risk of infection from an outpatient surgery center, and having the ability to rehabilitate the elbow from the comfort of home without traveling to a rehab clinic multiple times per week.

Recovery starts here.

A member of our team will reach out to you within 24 hours.