Dr Marcus Chia - Elbow Surgeon
Dr Marcus Chia offers specialist management and surgery of elbow arthritis including surgery to treat 'locking' or to improve range of motion.
Osteoarthritis of the elbow occurs when the lining of the joint (articular cartilage) is worn out or damaged. Most commonly this occurs as a result of normal wearing away of the joint cartilage from age and activity or due to previous injury such as elbow dislocation or fracture.
The most common symptoms of elbow arthritis are pain, swelling and loss of motion. There may be ‘grating’, ‘grinding’, ‘clicking’ or ‘locking’ sensations in the elbow. The ‘locking’ can occur by loose fragments of bone or cartilage floating in the joint which become trapped between the joint surfaces blocking motion.
Xrays are usually adequate to diagnose osteoarthritis. In some cases Dr Chia may order a CT scan or MRI scan to further assess the joint.
Initial treatment consists of activity modification, analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy. Corticosteroid injections are sometimes considered for temporary pain relief.
Surgery can be considered for mechanical symptoms such as ‘locking’ or to improve range of motion. Surgery may be done either by open or ‘key-hole’ (arthroscopic) means dependent on the extent of the arthritis. Surgery typically involves removing any loose bone or cartilage fragments, smoothing out irregular surfaces and removing bone spurs. Joint replacement (elbow arthroplasty) surgery is usually reserved for older, low demand individuals.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. For more information on elbow arthritis or to learn more about elbow arthritis surgery, please contact the office of Dr Marcus Chia, Sydney, Australia, Orthopaedic Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon.
For appointments and enquiries, please phone (02) 8014 4252