by Mr Ben Gooding
What is Elbow Arthroscopy?
Elbow arthroscopy is a keyhole operation. Your surgeon will make a number of small cuts (around 1cm) around your elbow to insert a small camera and other instruments. The operation can be used to diagnose and treat elbow problems including removing loose fragments and tidying up inflammation or arthritis.
If you have severe arthritis or large loose fragments the surgeon may suggest an alternative open operation such as an OK procedure – for information about this operation click here.
During the procedure, you will lie on your side with the arm over a bar attached to the bed. A tight band (tourniquet) will be applied to the upper arm to prevent any bleeding during the surgery.
The operation usually takes around 30 minutes. During this time fluid is gently pumped through the joint to improve the view and wash through any debris.
The main risks of this type of surgery are infection, bleeding and nerve damage. These risks are low in keyhole surgery (less than 1%).