Arthroscopic Debridement of the Elbow


During this outpatient procedure, the surgeon examines the inside of the elbow joint with a camera called an arthroscope. The surgeon identifies and corrects problems with the bones, ligaments and tendons of the elbow.


In preparation for the procedure, sedation or general anesthesia is administered. The elbow is numbed with a local injection.

The Examination

The surgeon injects fluid into the elbow to expand the joint and provide a clear view. The surgeon creates a series of small incisions in the skin around the elbow joint. The surgeon inserts an arthroscopic camera and other instruments into the elbow. The camera allows the surgeon to view the procedure on a monitor. The surgeon carefully examines the joint to look for signs of damage.

Repairing the Joint

Once the elbow has been diagnosed, the physician may use one or more of the arthroscopic instruments to repair the joint. Bone spurs may be filed down, and loose or damaged cartilage may be removed.

End of Procedure

When the procedure is complete, the incisions are closed with sutures or surgical staples. The elbow is bandaged. The patient will be given pain relievers and should be able to leave the hospital the same day.