Elbow arthroscopy is a keyhole procedure which involves inserting a camera into the joint. This allows the surgeon to view the inside of the joint in great detail.
Several small stab incisions are required around the elbow joint to view each of the areas within the elbow and also to insert instruments.
Arthroscopy is useful for removal of loose bodies and trimming of damaged cartilage. It is also useful for removing inflamed synovial tissue within the joint. It allows an accurate assessment of the degree of wear and tear of the cartridge on the joint surfaces.
The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic. A tourniquet is applied to the arm to stop any bleeding. Fluid is pumped into the elbow joint to distend the joint capsule and improve the access and view.
At the end of the procedure, the wounds are closed with absorbable sutures. A layer of bandaging is applied to the elbow. Most patients can be discharged on the same day.