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The elbow joint is formed by the humerus, radius and ulna. The joint allows for rotation, flexion and extension of the forearm while the muscles surrounding the elbow control movement in our wrist and fingers. Elbow pain is generally a result of overuse, injury or age.
If you feel pain or discomfort in your elbow, your doctor may recommend an elbow arthroscopy, which will allow them to inspect, diagnose and treat your condition.
You may be given medication or offered physiotherapy, but if these options do not prove to be successful, you may need to undergo surgery. Many different conditions can be treated via an elbow arthroscopy, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and tennis elbow. An arthroscopy may also be performed to remove cartilage or bone fragments, or to release scar tissue.
Before the start of the arthroscopy, most patients will be given general anaesthetic and so will be asleep during the procedure. You will be turned on your side for the operation to reduce bleeding. The surgeon will make small incisions in the elbow joint, into which a camera (arthroscope) and small operating instruments will be inserted. The arthroscope will guide the surgeons through the procedure by taking images of the area, which will be displayed on a monitor.
The nature of your procedure will depend entirely on your individual condition, which will be determined from an initial consultation.
This page is intended for informational purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.