The elbow joint consists of three partners: the two forearm bones (ulna and radius) and the upper arm bone (humerus). This joint can suffer from irritation of the synovial membrane. For example in rheumatism or due to external causes such as injuries. In these cases, arthroscopy of the joint can be indicated. By regional or general anaesthesia these procedures can be carried out in ambulant or stationary manner.
After the joint is punctured and filled with a sterile liquid, a camera can be used to observe and evaluate the situation on a monitor screen. Inflamed synovial membrane and any loose bodies can be removed from the joint. Cartilage surfaces and bony protrusions can also be removed.
In case of fractures screws or metal plates might be required (osteosyntheses of the bones). In addition, it is quite common for nerves around the elbow joint to become entrapped. Particularly the ulnaris nerve, which runs along a channel. These nerves can be released from the blockage and moved to a superficial layer.
One domain of conservative orthopaedics is the familiar tennis or golfer’s elbow. This is caused by an inflammation of the bone’s surface (periosteum) and the linking zone of the tendons of the forearm. Conservative orthopaedics treats these tendon problems through targeted infiltration, physical therapy and high-energy shockwave therapy, so there is seldom a need to operate on the insertion. This is only the very last option of treatment.