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Elbow Replacement
Indications for operation:
Elbow joint arthritis causing pain which has not responded to conservative treatment

Anaesthetic:
General Anaesthetic with an regional block. (You will be fully asleep and a local anaesthetic injection into the side of the neck will numb the nerves to the elbow for post-operative pain relief)

Operation type:
Open

Incisions:
A 12 cm incision will be made over the back of the elbow

Procedure:
The triceps muscle (extends the elbow) will be cut and moved to one side. The end of the humerus (arm bone) will be shaped using a saw to receive the implant. The ulna (the bone which forms the tip of the elbow) will also be prepared to receive a new surface. The radial head will be excised. The new elbow joint will be inserted and fixed into place using a special cement. The tissues will be sewn back to their original positions. A small vacuum drain may be inserted into the joint to allow any blood which collects after the operation to be removed.
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Wound Closure:
A single long dissolving stitch under the skin and paper stitches over the top will be used to close the wound.

Dressings:
Elastoplast dressings will be placed over the top of the paper stitches and an adhesive bandage over the top of this. A plaster cast may be used for the first few days to keep the elbow straight.

Immediate aftercare:
You will wake up with a sling on the arm and your arm may feel numb for the rest of the day. There will be an IV line (a drip) in your other arm. A vacuum drain may be connected to your operated elbow. You will need to remain in hospital until the drain is removed and you are comfortable. A physiotherapist will see you and you will be given instructions on what to do next.
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