Surgery to replace the elbow joint

What does this mean?
Replacement of the elbow with a metal and plastic prosthesis (figure) is an option for complex fractures, a previously damaged joint, or very poor bone quality. Replacement is best for patients that only use their arms for light tasks and patients that have several medical problems.


Figure: replacement with a prosthesis.


The elbow can usually be moved right away. The recovery is much quicker.

Complications such as infection and fracture are difficult to manage. It’s common to have some numbness in the small finger and some issues with hand dexterity after surgery, but this usually recovers over many months. The elbow replacement will eventually wear out or loosen from the bone. It’s best to lift no more than 5 to 10 pounds with the treated arm.