Information for the public

There is not enough evidence about how well this procedure works or how safe it is. So, it can only be done with special arrangements. This means you will have regular appointments afterwards to check how well it is working or if it has caused problems.

Arthritis can cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the elbow. The outer (lateral) part of the elbow is a joint between the upper arm bone and 1 of the bones in the lower arm. In this procedure, under general anaesthetic, a cut is made in the elbow and the muscle is split to access the bones. The ends of the 2 bones are cut and drilled to remove damaged tissue. An implant is then inserted into the end of each bone, to create smooth surfaces, as seen in a healthy joint (resurfacing). The muscle is then stitched back together.

The NHS website may have information on your condition and treatment options.

You can search the NHS website for information about consultants and hospitals that offer this procedure.

Is this procedure right for me?

You should be included in making decisions about your care.

Your healthcare professionals should explain the risks and benefits of this procedure and how it is done. They should discuss your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. They should offer you more information about the procedure. Your family or carers can be involved if you want or need them to be.

You will be asked to decide whether you agree (consent) to have the procedure. Find out more about giving consent to treatment on the NHS website.

Some questions to think about

  • How many appointments will I need?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • Will I have to stay in hospital?
  • What happens if it does not work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I do not want the procedure?
  • Are other treatments available?

More information

ISBN: 978-1-4731-4261-9

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