Arthroscopic debridement of the elbow is a minimally invasive surgical technique, commonly used to examine abnormalities of the cartilage, bones, ligaments and tendons in the elbow joint and remove damaged tissue. In preparation for the procedure, the patient will be positioned so that the elbow can be bent comfortably, and the area will be cleaned and sterilized. Local anesthesia is administered to numb the surgical site, and a sedative may be provided to help relax the patient. In some cases, general anesthesia will be used instead of local anesthesia.
The surgeon will create a series of small incisions around the elbow, and insert an arthroscopic camera and other tools. The camera enables the doctor to view the entire area of the elbow as the procedure is performed. Fluid is injected into the space around the elbow, expanding the joint so that it can be assessed for any signs of damage or disease. Once the condition has been diagnosed, arthroscopic tools are used to repair any damage. During this portion of the procedure, bone spurs may be filed down and loose, damaged cartilage will be removed.
Once the treatment is complete, the small incisions will be closed with either sutures or surgical staples. The elbow is bandaged, and the patient is provided with medication for pain relief. In most cases, the patient is permitted to return home the same day.