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Elbow surgery is a surgical procedure to treat an injured elbow, such as damage in the tendons that connect your muscles to the elbow bone. The procedure is required when other treatment options cannot improve the symptoms and affect your ability to perform a simple task, such as lifting a cup.
There are two types of elbow surgery: open surgery and arthroscopic surgery, both can be performed under general or local anesthetic. In open surgery, your surgeon makes a single incision above the bone on your elbow side and removes the damaged part of the tendon. In arthroscopic surgery, your surgeon creates small incisions in the skin over the elbow to insert tiny instruments and a camera, then, the damaged parts of your tendon are removed using these tiny instruments. Depending on your condition, elbow surgery may also involve replacing your elbow joint.
Elbow surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you can leave the hospital on the same day. Nevertheless, you will need to stay in Bangkok for 5 to 7 days for initial recovery, follow-up hospital checkups, and removal of stitches.
The total recovery time before you are allowed to exercise or play sports can be as long as four to six months. However, you should be able to return to work and some light activities within six to twelve weeks.
There are usually no dietary restrictions, but you should eat a healthy and balanced diet. You will need to do strengthening exercises, but make sure to do it with a physical therapist that will show you the right exercises to strengthen your elbow. After you are fully recovered, always be careful not to injure your elbow again and your doctor may recommend exercises to strengthen your shoulder so you can take the pressure off the elbow.
Approximately 80% to 90% of people who have elbow surgery said that their pain was reduced and their movement improved. Elbow surgery has possible side effects and risks, including infection, damage to nerves in the elbow, damage to blood vessels in the elbow, reduced strength, reduced flexibility, severe pain, swelling that does not go away, redness, numbness, fever, and tingling sensations in your hands or fingers.
If you do not want to undergo surgery, you can usually treat it with pain relievers and rest. Your doctor may also recommend an elbow brace and a few adjustments to your daily activities. However, for severe cases, you may want to consider elbow surgery.
Injury in your elbow can be very painful and limit your movements. After elbow surgery, you will be able to move your elbow easily and all pain will be reduced. As a result, you can continue to enjoy sports and other activities.
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