Elbow Arthritis Treatment in Bethesda, MD

Elbow Arthritis Treatments (Elbow Arthroscopy)

Elbow arthroscopy, also referred to as keyhole or minimally invasive surgery is performed through tiny incisions to evaluate and treat several elbow conditions.

The Elbow is a complex hinge joint formed by the articulation of three bones – humerus, radius, and ulna. The upper arm bone or humerus connects the shoulder to the elbow forming the upper portion of the hinge joint. The lower arm consists of two bones, the radius, and the ulna. These bones connect the wrist to the elbow forming the lower portion of the hinge joint.

The three joints of the elbow are

  • Ulnohumeral joint, the junction between the ulna and humerus
  • Radiohumeral joint, the junction between the radius and humerus
  • Proximal radioulnar joint, the junction between the radius and ulna

The elbow joint is held in place with the support of various soft tissues including:

  • Cartilage
  • Tendons
  • Ligaments
  • Muscles
  • Nerves
  • Blood vessels and
  • Bursae

Indications of elbow arthroscopy:

Elbow arthroscopy is usually recommended for the following reasons:

  • Debridement of loose bodies such as bone chips or torn cartilage tissue
  • Removal of scar tissue
  • Removal of bone spurs: These are extra bony growths caused by injury or arthritis that damage the ends of bones causing pain and limited mobility.

Arthroscopy is also used for the:

Treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, elbow arthritis, and a condition called osteochondritis dissecans where loose fragments of cartilage and bone are in the joint space.

Total Elbow Joint Pain Evaluation and Diagnosis:

Your surgeon will review your medical history and perform a complete physical examination. Diagnostic studies may also be ordered such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans to assist in diagnosis. These are all important tests when determining arthritis treatment in an effort to relieve pain. Pain and swelling are serious problems that arise when dealing with the symptoms of an injury to your elbow, shoulder, or arm. A surgeon from OrthoBethesda can help resolve these symptoms only by conducting a proper evaluation of your symptoms and overall pain in the joints.


Surgical Procedure Options for an Elbow Joint In Bethesda MD

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which an arthroscope, a small soft flexible tube with a light and video camera at the end, is inserted into a joint to evaluate and treat a variety of conditions.

Elbow arthroscopy is commonly performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. The patient is placed in a lateral or prone position which allows the surgeon to easily adjust the arthroscope and have a clear view of the inside of the elbow.

Several tiny incisions are made to insert the arthroscope and small surgical instruments into the joint. To enhance the clarity of the elbow structures through the arthroscope, your surgeon will fill the elbow joint with a sterile liquid

The liquid flows through the arthroscope to maintain clarity and also to restrict any bleeding. The camera attached to the arthroscope displays the internal structures of the elbow on the monitor and helps your surgeon to evaluate the joint and direct the surgical instruments to fix the problem.

At the end of the procedure, the surgical incisions are closed by sutures, and a soft sterile dressing is applied. Your surgeon will place a cast or a splint to restrict the movement of the elbow.

The advantages of arthroscopy compared to traditional open elbow surgery include:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Minimal soft tissue trauma
  • Less post-operative pain
  • Faster healing time
  • Lower infection rate

Post-Operative Care & Physical Therapy InBethesda MD:

The post-surgical instructions include:

  • Make sure to get adequate rest.
  • Raise your elbow on pillows above the level of the heart to help reduce swelling.
  • Keep the incision area clean and dry.
  • A compressive stocking may be applied from the armpit to the hand once the dressing is removed to decrease pain and increase range of motion.
  • Your doctor will prescribe pain medications to keep you comfortable.
  • Physical therapy will be ordered to restore normal elbow strength.
  • Eating a healthy diet and not smoking will promote healing.

Following these instructions from our surgeon make it easier for you to heal properly, while also reducing pain and inflammation. Surgery will not always be the option for elbow pain or other joints. However, if surgery is suggested for your hand, bones, joints, elbow, or another area of the body; be sure to discuss it thoroughly with our surgeon. Pain can be dealt with using anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy can be helpful, but surgery may sometimes be the final answer.


The possible complications following elbow arthroscopy include infection, bleeding, and damage to nerves or blood vessels. It’s important to note that even though elbow replacement surgery is a low-risk surgery, every surgery does come with some risk. Elbow arthritis symptoms and elbow joint pain can be improved by physical therapy, which also has its risks. You need to weigh the risks against the potential positive outcome of an elbow replacement procedure. You will see an increased range of motion after surgery, which could outweigh any of the possible risks of going under the knife.

Benefits of Elbow Replacement Procedures

Aside from physical therapy, an elbow replacement procedure can make life much easier when living with elbow arthritis. The benefits of this procedure include the following:

  • Relieve pain
  • Better mobility
  • Increased range with your arm
  • Improve usage of your hand
  • Reduce symptoms of arthritis
  • Better motion in your joints
  • Repair of cartilage
  • Reduction of elbow arthritis symptoms and elbow joint pain

Testimonials for Dr. Edward Bieber, Bethesda MD Resident Elbow Joint & Elbow Arthritis specialist:

 “Dr. Bieber operated, and I was completely pain-free immediately. The recovery was easy, and within two months there was no visible scarring and it was impossible to feel any difference between the hand on which he operated and the other one. He’s a miracle-worker! Plus, the surgery center he uses on Arlington Road in Bethesda was completely efficient and made the whole process as easy as could be. He gets an A+ from me!”

Schedule Elbow Replacement Surgery or Elbow Joint Replacement at OrthoBethesda Today

Tennis elbow, elbow joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and elbow arthritis are painful conditions that many people of varying ages suffer from every year. It might be time to consider elbow replacement surgery at OrthoBethesda if conservative treatment methods for wear and tear in the total elbow haven’t worked to resolve pain. There are other treatment options available, but anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, ice, and elevation might not always help. Physical therapy is an option for helping with elbow arthritis and elbow joint pain, but surgery might be the ultimate answer.

Call the experienced surgeon at OrthoBethesda at (301) 530-1010 today to schedule an appointment for your osteoarthritis problems. We will evaluate and diagnose your conditions so that we can develop an individualized treatment plan for your injury. We want to help you resume normal activities as soon as possible after suffering inflammation, osteoarthritis, elbow arthritis, wear and tear on the elbow joint, and other injuries.

Further Reading

Top Exercises to Avoid If You Have Tennis Elbow

Common Types of Arthritis Explained


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Contact OrthoBethesda to Find Out If Elbow Arthroscopy Is Right for You

At OrthoBethesda, we are proud to offer Bethesda, MD and the surrounding areas many elbow treatment options such as Elbow Arthroscopy. Contact us to make an appointment or call us at (301) 530-1010 today!