Colorado Springs Orthopedic News

Preparing for Elbow Surgery

If you are an athlete, weekend-warrior, or all around active person, then you may find yourself in the painful chokehold of agonizing elbow pain. Elbow pain usually occurs due to overuse of movements, when you grab something, or even when you just slightly move your arm when doing something that’s part of your daily routine. When it comes time to have surgery to fix a problem with the elbow, being informed and prepared will ensure a positive outcome.

Orthopedic surgeons like to use non-invasive methods of treatment first before resorting to invasive surgery. That’s because surgery isn’t always necessary, and when done prematurely could actually do more harm than good. These innovative and minimally invasive treatments range from physical therapy (exercise), steroid injections (cortisone shots), anti-inflammatory medications, and braces. These methods can typically eliminate your pain and drastically improve your range of motion without surgery. However, if your elbow pain does not improve with these treatments, then your physician will most likely recommend elbow surgery as the next step.

Surgeons perform arthroscopic (minimally invasive) or traditional (open) elbow surgery to repair fractures and repair the elbow joint. For some conditions where the cartilage and bone are badly degraded, a partial or complete elbow replacement may be the best option.

At Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence, our orthopedic surgeons specializing in elbow surgery are ranked among the top specialists in the country for using the most innovative, minimally invasive techniques to decrease the pain and recovery time for patients undergoing treatment of both common and complex elbow conditions.

Our orthopedic surgeons have successfully performed countless surgeries including cubital tunnel release, arthroscopic elbow surgery, along with total and partial elbow replacement.

Preparing for Elbow Surgery 

Once you and your doctor decide that surgery will help you, you will need to learn what to expect from the surgery and create a treatment plan for the best results afterward. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer complications. 

Before surgery, your doctor will perform a complete physical examination to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or the outcome. To decide the best procedure to perform for your elbow pain, your surgeon will also perform necessary tests such as blood tests and X-rays to get an accurate diagnosis, so that the right form of treatment can be administered. Follow these tips to prepare before your day of surgery: 

·       Have someone available to take you home after your surgery, you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours.

·       Do not eat or drink before the surgery as directed.

·       In some cases, physical therapy or specific exercises will be prescribed prior to a scheduled procedure, to help build up muscle strength around the affected area.

·       Take your medication as directed. There are some medications your doctor may ask you to stop taking at a point prior to surgery, especially those that prevent blood clotting.

·       Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping, and laundry, and put the necessary items that you use most often within easy reach before surgery.

Don’t let elbow pain prevent you from enjoying your life any longer. To learn more about how to prepare for elbow surgery, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online.

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