Shoulder & Elbow Surgical Education
The information contained on this page is designed to provide patients and physical therapists with basic information on common surgical procedures. This service should supplement the information provided at your patient consultation office visit. Click on a topic below to view more information.
Elbow replacement is indicated for arthritis of the elbow, but can be used in other situations such as a very bad fracture. Elbow arthritis is not as common as arthritis in other joints such as the knee, hip, or shoulder, but it seems to be more common in patients with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The goal of the surgery is to relieve pain as well as to restore motion. The results are quite favorable. This surgery is intended to be used in patients so that they can resume the routine activities of daily living. In this operation, the arthritic bone is replaced with a hinged metal and plastic prosthesis. The metal components are cemented into the bone, and the plastic or polyethelene is located in the hinge to provide a smooth, fluid range of motion. There is a 10-pound lifting restriction following this operation. Therefore, the procedure should be used with caution in younger patients. There are other alternatives for the younger or more active population. Below are some x-rays before and after elbow replacement.