Elbow Arthroscopy

What is Elbow Arthroscopy?

In recent years, the elbow is among the small joints that have been explored arthroscopically, with gradual development of safe and effective diagnostic and surgical techniques. The elbow is easily accessed for arthroscopic examination and standard portals have been described. Elbow arthroscopy requires detailed knowledge of the anatomy and the ability to introduce instruments through deep muscle layers in narrow confines near crucial neurovascular structures. With this knowledge and ability, the surgeon should see the benefits of minimal dissection and a more rapid rehabilitation Arthroscopy is a procedure that orthopaedic surgeons use to inspect, diagnose, and repair problems inside a joint. The word arthroscopy comes from two Greek words, and "skopein" (to look). The term literally means "to look within the joint." During elbow arthroscopy, your surgeon inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into your elbow joint. The camera displays pictures on a television screen, and your surgeon uses these images to guide miniature surgical instruments. Because the arthroscope and surgical instruments are thin, your surgeon can use very small incisions (cuts), rather than the larger incision needed for open surgery. This results in less pain for patients, less joint stiffness, and often shortens the time it takes to recover and return to favorite activities. Elbow arthroscopy has been performed since the 1980s. It has made diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from surgery easier and faster than was once thought possible. Improvements to elbow arthroscopy occur every year as new instruments and techniques are developed.