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Total Elbow Replacement

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Total Elbow Replacement Surgery in Sadashiv Peth, Pune

Total elbow replacement surgery is a procedure wherein the elbow joint is completely removed and replaced with an artificial joint, to find relief from pain as well as improve function in the arm.

What is Total Elbow Replacement?

Total elbow replacement is a surgery wherein the damaged parts of the elbow including the ulna and humerus are removed and replaced with an artificial elbow joint that is made of plastic and metal hinge, along with two metal stems. These stems will fit inside the canal, which is a hollow part of the bone.

Why is Total Elbow Replacement Done?

Doctors and their patients may consider total elbow replacement due to various conditions that can cause elbow pain and inflammation, including –

  • Osteoarthritis – One of the most common types of arthritis is called osteoarthritis. It is associated with the wear and tear of the cartilage and usually occurs in people above the age of 50. As the cartilage that protects the elbow’s bones wears away, the bones start rubbing against each other, causing pain and inflammation in the joint.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis – Arthritis that occurs after a serious elbow injury is called post-traumatic arthritis. Damage occurs to the cartilage due to fractures in the bones of the elbows or tears in the tendons or ligaments surrounding the elbows bones, limiting the elbow’s movement and causing pain.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition wherein the synovial membrane becomes thick and inflamed. This leads to damage to the cartilage and ultimately, the loss of cartilage along with stiffness and pain. This condition is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis.
  • Severe fracture – Total elbow replacement surgery may be needed if there’s a severe fracture in one or more bones of the elbow. It is difficult to repair the fracture in an elbow and the blood supply to the bones may stop temporarily. In such cases, this surgery is recommended.
  • Instability – If there is damage to the ligaments responsible for holding the elbow joint together, then the elbow becomes unstable and can get dislocated easily.

How is Total Elbow Replacement Done in Pune?

First, you will be administered with anesthesia. Then, the surgeon will make an incision at the back of the elbow. After this, they will move aside your muscles to reach the bone and remove the scar tissue as well as spurs around the elbow joint. Then, the humerus is prepared so that it can fit the metallic piece that is to be placed on that side. Similar preparation is done for the ulna. The stems that are to be replaced, are inserted into the ulna and humerus bones. These are held together with a hinge pin. Once the wound is closed, the incision is covered with a cushioned dressing, so that the incision is protected while it heals. Sometimes, a temporary tube is placed in the joint for draining the surgical fluid. This tube is removed a few days after your surgery.

What Happens After Total Elbow Replacement Procedure?

After the surgery, you will experience some pain for which your doctor will prescribe pain-relief medication. For the elbow replacement surgery to be successful, you will have to do certain rehabilitation exercises of the hand and wrist, so that swelling can be controlled and stiffness in the elbow can be controlled. You will have to avoid lifting any heavy objects for at least 6 weeks after the surgery.

What are the Complications Associated with Total Elbow Replacement?

As with any surgery, there are some complications associated with total elbow replacement surgery, including –

  • Infections – Sometimes, an infection may occur on the incision site or around the artificial parts. Infections can occur at any time – in the hospital, a few days after the surgery, or a few years later. To avoid infections, antibiotics are prescribed.
  • Loosening of implants – Sometimes, the implants can become loose or may wear down. In case of excessive wear and tear or loosening, revision surgery may be required.
  • Nerve injury – During the elbow replacement surgery, the nerves near the joint replacement site can get damaged. However, such injuries usually heal on their own over time.

When to See a Doctor at Apollo Spectra, Pune?

You should consult your doctor regarding total elbow replacement surgery if –

  • You have severe elbow pain that interferes with your daily activities.
  • You have tried all noninvasive and nonsurgical methods including medication and physical therapy, but the pain is still persistent.
  • Motion in the elbow is reduced and there is stiffness in the joint after inactivity or rest for some time.

Request an appointment at Apollo Spectra, Pune

Call 1860-500-2244 to book an appointment


In most cases, patients tend to find relief from pain, and their quality of life is improved, after total elbow replacement surgery. The mobility and function, as well as strength of the elbow joint, also improves.

1. How to prepare for total elbow replacement?

Your surgeon in Apollo Spectra, Pune will conduct a complete physical examination, a few weeks before your total elbow replacement surgery. You will be asked to stop taking certain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, blood thinners, and arthritis medications, two weeks before your surgery, as these can cause excessive bleeding. You should also make some arrangements at your house before your surgery since you won’t be able to reach high cupboards or shelves for a few weeks after the surgery.

2. What is the artificial joint made of?

The metal parts of the artificial joint are made of titanium or chrome-cobalt alloy. The liner is made of plastic and the bone cement is made of acrylic.


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