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Elbow Surgery

The elbow is a complex joint. Injury, overuse, and age-related wear and tear are responsible for most elbow problems. Elbow arthroscopy may relieve painful symptoms of many problems that damage the cartilage surfaces and other soft tissues surrounding the joint. Elbow arthroscopy may also be recommended to remove loose pieces of bone and cartilage, or release scar tissue that is blocking motion. If you have a painful condition that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment, an elbow arthroscopy may be recommended.

Common arthroscopic procedures include:

  • Treatment of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  • Removal of loose bodies (loose cartilage and bone fragments)
  • Release of scar tissue to improve range of motion
  • Treatment of osteoarthritis (wear and tear arthritis)
  • Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory arthritis)
  • Treatment of osteochondritis dissecans (activity related damage to the capitellum portion of the humerus)

Elbow replacement may be an option when nonsurgical interventions such as medication and physical therapy no longer help alleviate the persistent pain. When non-operative treatment is not effective, our surgeons can help you decide whether surgery is right for you and which type of procedure will have the best outcome. If surgery is needed, our surgeons are knowledgeable in all elbow surgery techniques.

Because so many muscles originate or insert near the elbow, it is a common site for injury. One common injury is lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is a term for a common overuse injury where the muscle and tendon area around the outside of the elbow are injured. Tennis elbow is caused by doing the same forceful arm movements over and over. It creates small, painful tears in the tendons in your elbow. The injury got its name because tennis players sometimes suffer from lateral epicondylitis. The injury is also common in people who do not play tennis.

  • Limiting activity or sports to rest your arm.
  • Changing the sports equipment you are using.
  • Taking medicines, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
  • Doing exercises to relieve pain as recommended by the doctor or physical therapist.
  • Making workplace changes to improve your sitting position and how you use equipment at work.
  • Wearing elbow splints or braces to rest your muscles and tendons.

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure during which the internal structure of a joint is examined for diagnosis and treatment of problems inside the joint.

Arthroscopic examination of joints is helpful in diagnosis and treatment of the following conditions:

Inflammation: Synovitis, the inflammation of the lining of the Shoulder, Elbow, Hand and Wrist. Acute or chronic injury: Injuries to the Shoulder, Knee and Wrist joint such as cartilage tears, tendon tears, carpal tunnel syndrome.

Osteoarthritis: A type of arthritis caused by cartilage loss in a joint. Removal of loose bodies of bone or cartilage that becomes logged within the joint.

During arthroscopic surgery, general, spinal, or a local anesthesia will be given depending on the condition. A small incision of the size of a buttonhole is made through which the arthroscope is inserted. Other accessory incisions will be made through which specially designed instruments are inserted. After the procedure is completed, arthroscope is removed and incisions are closed.

It may take several weeks for the puncture wounds to heal and the joint to recover completely. A rehabilitation program may be advised for a speedy recovery of normal joint function. You can resume normal activities and go back to work within a few days. You may be instructed about the incision care, activities to be avoided, and exercises to be performed for faster recovery.


NASA Bone & Joint is a Board Certified Orthopedic Center. Our two physicians, Dr. O’Neill and Dr. Monmouth are both board certified in general orthopedics. Dr. O’Neill is also certified in sports medicine. Both doctors trained at Harvard and have been practicing orthopedics in the Nassau Bay area for 25 years.

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Phone: 281-333-5114


Address: 16840 Buccaneer Suite 100 Houston, Texas 77058

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