BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuElbow replacementTotal elbow arthroplasty; Endoprosthetic elbow replacement; Arthritis - elbow arthroplasty; Osteoarthritis - elbow arthroplasty; Degenerative arthritis - elbow arthroplasty; DJD - elbow arthroplastyElbow replacement is surgery to replace the elbow joint with artificial joint parts (prosthetics).ProstheticsA prosthesis is a device designed to replace a missing part of the body or to make a part of the body work better. Diseased or missing eyes, arms, h...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Description The elbow joint connects three bones:The humerus in the upper arm The ulna and radius in the lower arm (forearm)The artificial elbow joint has two or three stems made of high-quality metal. A metal and plastic hinge joins the stems together and allows the artificial joint to bend. Artificial joints come in different sizes to fit people of different sizes.The surgery is done in the following way:You'll receive general anesthesia. This means you'll be asleep and unable to feel pain. Or you'll receive regional anesthesia (spinal and epidural) to numb your arm. General anesthesiaGeneral anesthesia is treatment with certain medicines that puts you into a deep sleep so you do not feel pain during surgery. After you receive the...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Spinal and epiduralSpinal and epidural anesthesia are procedures that deliver medicines that numb parts of your body to block pain. They are given through shots in or ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article A cut (incision) is made on the back of your elbow so that the surgeon can view your elbow joint. The damaged tissue and parts of the arm bones that make up the elbow joint are removed. A drill is used to make a hole in the center of the arm bones. The ends of the artificial joint are usually glued in place into each bone. They can be connected with a hinge. The tissue around the new joint is repaired.The wound is closed with stitches, and a bandage is applied. Your arm may be placed in a splint to keep it stable. Why the Procedure Is Performed Elbow replacement surgery is usually done if the elbow joint is badly damaged and you have pain or cannot use your arm. Some causes of damage are:Osteoarthritis OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder. It is due to aging and wear and tear on a joint.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Poor outcome from past elbow surgery Rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid arthritisRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It is a long-term disease. It can also aff...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Badly broken bone in the upper or lower arm near the elbow Broken boneIf more pressure is put on a bone than it can stand, it will split or break. A break of any size is called a fracture. If the broken bone punctures...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Badly damaged or torn tissues in the elbow Tumor in or around the elbow TumorA tumor is an abnormal growth of body tissue. Tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign).Read Article Now Book Mark Article Stiff elbow Risks Risks of anesthesia and surgery in general include:Reactions to medicines, breathing problems Bleeding, blood clots, infectionRisks of this procedure include:Blood vessel damage during surgery Bone break during surgery Dislocation of the artificial joint Loosening of the artificial joint over time Nerve damage during surgery Before the Procedure Tell your surgeon what medicines you are taking, including drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.During the 2 weeks before your surgery:You may be asked to stop taking blood thinners. These include warfarin (Coumadin), dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), or NSAIDs such as aspirin. These might cause increased bleeding during surgery. Ask your surgeon which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery. If you have diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions, your surgeon will likely ask you to see the doctor who treats you for these conditions. DiabetesDiabetes is a long-term (chronic) disease in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Heart diseaseCoronary heart disease is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is also cal...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Tell your surgeon if you have been drinking a lot of alcohol (more than 1 or 2 drinks a day). If you smoke, try to stop. Ask your provider for help. Smoking can slow wound healing. Tell your surgeon if you develop a cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or other illness before your surgery. The surgery may need to be postponed.On the day of your surgery:Follow instructions about not drinking or eating anything before the procedure. Take the medicines your surgeon told you to take with a small sip of water. Arrive at the hospital on time. After the Procedure You may need to stay in the hospital for up to 1 to 2 days. After you go home, follow instructions on how to care for your wound and elbow.Follow instructionsYou had surgery to replace your elbow joint with artificial joint parts (prosthetics). The surgeon made a cut (incision) in the back of your upper or...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Physical therapy will be needed to help you gain strength and use of your arm. It will start with gentle flexing exercises. People who have a splint usually start therapy a few weeks later than those who do not have a splint.Some people can start to use their new elbow as soon as 12 weeks after surgery. Complete recovery can take up to a year. There will be limits to how much weight you can lift. Lifting too heavy of a load can break the replacement elbow or loosen the parts. Talk to your surgeon about your limitations.It is important to follow-up with your doctor regularly to check how your replacement is doing. Be sure to go to all your appointments. Outlook (Prognosis) Elbow replacement surgery eases pain for most people. It can also increase the range of motion of your elbow joint. A second elbow replacement surgery is usually not as successful as the first one.Open ReferencesReferencesCohen MS, Chen NC. Total elbow arthroplasty. In: Wolfe SW, Hotchkiss RN, Pederson WC, Kozin SH, Cohen MS, eds. Green's Operative Hand Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 27.Throckmorton TW. Shoulder and elbow arthroplasty. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 12.AllVideoImagesTogElbow prosthesis - illustration Elbow replacement involves surgically replacing bones that make up the elbow joint with artificial elbow joint parts (prosthetic components). The artificial joint consists of two stems made of high-quality metal. They are joined together with a metal and plastic hinge that allows the artificial elbow joint to bend. The artificial joints come in different sizes to fit the patient.Elbow prosthesisillustrationElbow prosthesis - illustration Elbow replacement involves surgically replacing bones that make up the elbow joint with artificial elbow joint parts (prosthetic components). The artificial joint consists of two stems made of high-quality metal. They are joined together with a metal and plastic hinge that allows the artificial elbow joint to bend. The artificial joints come in different sizes to fit the patient.Elbow prosthesisillustrationSelf Care Radial head fracture - aftercareRelated Information Osteoarthritis(Condition)Rheumatoid arthritis(Condition)Surgical wound care - open(Self-Care)Elbow replacement - discharge (Discharge)Osteoarthritis(In-Depth)Rheumatoid arthritis(In-Depth) Review Date: 7/25/2020 Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.