Elbow replacement is surgery to replace the elbow joint with artificial joint parts (prosthetics).
The Elbow Joint Connects Three Bones:
- The humerus in the upper arm
- The ulna and radius in the lower arm (forearm)
The artificial elbow joint has two or three stems made of high-quality metal. A metal and plastic hinge joins the stems together and allows the artificial joint to bend. Artificial joints come in different sizes to fit people of different sizes.
- You’ll receive general anesthesia. This means you’ll be asleep and unable to feel pain. Or you’ll receive regional anesthesia (spinal and epidural) to numb your arm.
- A cut (incision) is made on the back of your elbow so that the surgeon can view your elbow joint.
- The damaged tissue and parts of the arm bones that make up the elbow joint are removed.
- A drill is used to make a hole in the center of the arm bones.
- The ends of the artificial joint are usually glued in place into each bone. They can be connected with a hinge.
- The tissue around the new joint is repaired.
Recovery after Shoulder Replacement Surgery:
- Do not use your surgery arm to get up out of bed or from a chair position. Use the opposite arm.
- You may be advised not to pull anything to you, such as pulling up pants and opening doors, for six weeks after surgery.
- Your doctor will likely give you a list of exercises to do once you’re home. Be certain to follow your doctor’s instructions, but typically you will be asked to do these four or five times a day for a month or so.
- You may experience less pain after surgery, which may make you believe you can do more.
- Be certain to follow your doctor’s instructions so that you don’t overdo it.
- The amount of weight you can lift using your surgery arm will be limited. You doctor may recommend that you don’t lift anything heavier than a cup of coffee for the first four to six weeks.
- Sling use will vary depending upon the situation, but your doctor may request that you wear the sling every night for at least the first month.
- Avoid many household chores such as, raking, sweeping, mopping, and running the vacuum cleaner using your surgery arm. Use long-handled feather dusters for dusting high and low items. Your doctor will tell you when it is okay to do these activities.