Elbow Arthritis

The elbow is a complex joint that plays a major role in the function of the arm and hand. The cartilage, which covers the extremities of the bones, allows a smooth sliding of the articular surfaces between them. Osteoarthritis deteriorates cartilage and causes pain and stiffness that prevent the proper functioning of the joint.

The elbow is one of the least affected joints compared to weight-bearing joints such as the hip or knee. Osteoarthritis of the elbow is detected rather late because of a relatively painless progression. The pain usually occurs after a forced movement is felt especially in late amplitude flexion or extension of the arm.
The diagnosis of osteoarthritis is made with radiography for assessing bone lesions, adding a CR-scan, a CT-arthrography or MRI may be needed to visualize tissue and cartilage. Inquire in advance is mandatory in order to perform the most suitable examination.

Treatment options

Medical Treatment
First, analgesics and anti-inflammatories will relieve the painful phenomena. In parallel, an adapted rehabilitation program will help maintain muscle tone and relax the joint.

If relief through medical treatment and rehabilitation is not enough, your surgeon can suggest different interventions.

Surgical Treatments
The intervention of arthroscopy of the elbow, consists of cleaning the joint by the resection of the osteophytes (bone beaks) and mobile fragments released in the joint.

Elbow Prosthesis
There are different types of elbow prostheses to respond to the different stages of severity of osteoarthritis, we speak of partial or total prosthesis, constrained or unconstrained.