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Elbow Replacement

Elbow replacement is less common than hip or knee replacement. Elbow arthritis is usually treated nonsurgically with physical therapyanti-inflammatory medications, or both.

A woman stretching her elbow for physical therapy.

If these treatments fail, an elbow replacement may be necessary. However, this surgery has a far lower success rate than hip or knee replacement. The elbow is a complicated hinge joint, and the bones into which artificial joint components must be inserted are smaller than those of the hip or knee. In particular, elbow replacement requires a rod to be inserted in the ulna, a small bone in the lower arm that is prone to osteolysis (dissolving).

Read about the research HSS surgeons and biomechanical engineers are doing to improve elbow replacement and make it a more viable option for patients.

Elbow Replacement Success Stories

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