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Elbow Arthroscopy - Tennis Elbow Treatment
Arthroscopy is a true minimally invasive surgery in orthopaedics. It is a process of performing surgery with the use of a small specialized camera to allow visualization of the inside of the joint. This "microscopic" camera is placed through a tiny incision, which allows the surgeon to directly observe the inside of the joint, evaluate numerous key anatomic structures and helps verify the safe placement of other specialized instruments. These special instruments are also placed through tiny incisions and will be used to perform the surgical procedure of choice. Typically only 3 or 4 incisions are used.
This form of surgery in general has been rapidly expanding in its utility over the last few decades, offering a faster, safer and far less painful alternative to many traditional methods of surgery. Arthroscopy was first implemented for routine use in the knee, and has grown to be used in nearly every joint in the body from the hip to the fingers. It also allows for a more rapid recovery and carries fewer risks typically than the traditional "open" or larger surgical procedures.
Most orthopaedic surgeons have received some training in general arthroscopic surgery and will use it when indicated in their practice. However, the trained sports medicine surgeon has undergone specialized and focused training in this general surgical technique and uses this as their primary surgical tool for most procedures. Typically, only a relative few orthopaedic surgeons have significant experience in arthroscopy of the elbow joint.
While arthroscopy of the elbow joint is somewhat more limited than that of the knee or shoulder, it has become utilized more and more frequently as we have gained more experience and better technology. The most common uses are for removing scar tissue, loose bodies, inflammation, and treating disorders such as tennis elbow (see lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow). Elbow arthroscopy in general is significantly more appealing than traditional "open" elbow surgery in that it tends to generate less scar tissue and allows for more rapid rehabilitation. This is important as the elbow traditionally is known to have a high risk of stiffness after injury or surgery, and arthroscopy can minimize this risk. However, not all conditions can be treated with arthroscopy.
Much like any other surgery, arthroscopy of the elbow does have some risks. The primary risk involved with this surgery is the potential for damage to the many nerves and key blood vessels around the elbow joint. If this occurs, it may simply be a temporary issue after surgery as the nerves are irritated from the surgery, but it may also be permanent if the nerves are significantly damaged. This is rare, but it can happen and the risk of injury is approximately 3%.
Elbow arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure, aids in the diagnosis and treatment of joint injuries, in order to reduce pain and increase.
elbow arthroscopy tennis elbow treatment