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Elbow Arthroscopy

Elbow arthroscopy is a non-invasive medical procedure used to diagnose and treat various conditions of the elbow. It involves inserting a tiny camera, called an arthroscope through a small incision. This allows the surgeon to visualise the inside of the joint and perform various procedures, such as removing loose bodies, repairing damaged ligaments, or addressing other elbow joint issues.

Also known as: elbow arthroscopic surgery

Contact Shoulder & Elbow Clinic

Before

To begin the discussion about an elbow arthroscopy procedure, you’ll first need to book an appointment with one of our consultants. Your surgeon will walk you through the process step-by-step.

When looking to prepare yourself for an elbow arthroscopy, make sure to follow all steps outlined to you by your surgeon and our team, those might include:

  • Ensuring that you have someone to bring you to and from the procedure: if you’re using pain medicine and use local anaesthetic, then it’s important that you have a trusted person on hand to help you get home safely.
  • Be honest about any medications and your health history: only by knowing the full extent of your patient experience can our team ensure the treatment options we offer to you are based on our eligibility criteria; we want to make sure our patients are right for the treatment and avoid any complications.
  • Follow any preoperative instructions provided to you. This may include fasting before the procedure if anaesthesia is involved, discontinuing specific medications, or maintaining proper hand hygiene.

During

Your consultant will discuss your options for anaesthesia, such as general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia, and help you choose the best option for your needs.

An elbow arthroscopy is a non-invasive day-case surgery. During the procedure the surgeon will make a small incision where they will insert the thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end (arthroscope). This way the surgeon will be able to survey the elbow and see what is wrong with it. Depending on the specific condition being treated, the surgeon will use the arthroscope and instruments to perform the necessary repairs or treatments.

Once the surgeon has made their assessment, they’ll remove the camera and choose to either offer you stitches or cover the wound with skin tapes.

After

Elbow arthroscopy recovery time, including the time during which you’ll have to keep your arm in a sling for protection, depends on what procedure was performed using the arthroscopic approach.

Rehabilitation will be overseen by an appropriate member of our physiotherapy team.

During this time, your elbow will be in a delicate state, so it is critical that you stay away from any strenuous activity until your movement is back to normal. Moving your elbow beyond its capabilities at this time could prove detrimental to the post-procedure recovery – and in some cases, can extend the elbow arthroscopy recovery time.

Medically reviewed by Mr Abbas Rashid - BSc(Hons) MBBS FRCS(Tr&Orth) on 02/02/2024

How to pay for your treatment

If you’re… paying for yourself

Did you know you don’t need private medical insurance to come to St John & St Elizabeth Hospital? As a self-pay patient, you can access safe, outstanding quality health care at times to suit you.

For scans and tests, as well as to see most consultants, you’ll still need to be referred by a medical professional like your GP, but as a self-pay patient, the process is more straightforward. You won’t need authorisation from an insurance provider, and you’ll have greater choice of consultant and appointment times.

If you’re… insured

St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is approved by all major medical insurance companies. If you have a personal private health insurance policy, or your company provide it for you, you can use it to pay for your care from your initial consultation through to treatment, surgery and aftercare such as physiotherapy. Not all private health insurance plans cover the same things. It’s very important to check exactly what you are covered for with your insurance provider.