What is a Total Elbow Replacement?
Although ELBOW JOINT REPLACEMENT is much less common than knee or hip replacement, it is just as successful in relieving joint pain and returning people to activities they enjoy. Several conditions can cause elbow pain and disability, and lead patients and their doctors to consider elbow joint replacement surgery.
• Rheumatoid Arthritis. The most common form of a group of disorders termed “inflammatory arthritis.”
• Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease). Osteoarthritis is an age-related, “wear and tear” type of arthritis. It usually occurs in people 50 years of age and older, but may occur in younger people, too. The cartilage that cushions the bones of the elbow softens and wears away. The bones then rub against one another. Over time, the elbow joint becomes stiff and painful.
• Post-traumatic Arthritis. This type of arthritis can follow a serious elbow injury. Fractures of the bones that make up the elbow, or tears of the surrounding tendons and ligaments may cause damage to the articular cartilage over time. This causes pain and limits elbow function.
In total elbow replacement surgery, the damaged parts of the humerus and ulna are replaced with artificial components. The artificial elbow joint is made up of a metal and plastic hinge with two metal stems. The stems fit inside the hollow part of the bone called the canal.