Elbow Debridement Surgery


Elbow debridement is a surgical procedure recommended for the treatment of elbow arthritis to help alleviate pain and restore range of motion.


Elbow Arthritis

Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis can both cause elbow pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes your immune system to attack the lining (the cartilage) of your joints, causing pain, stiffness, swelling, and inflammation. It tends to affect women in their 20s and 30s.  Osteoarthritis is degenerative wear and tear, most commonly affecting people over the age of 60. The cartilage becomes worn and damaged over time.


There are many non-surgical treatments for elbow arthritis.  Elbow debridement will only be recommended after lifestyle changes, rest, anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy and steroid injections have all been tried without success.


What happens during this procedure?

Elbow debridement can be performed under general or local anaesthetic.  If performed under local anaesthetic you will be awake, but a sedative can be given to help you relax.


The procedure is usually performed arthroscopically whereby by a thin tube with a camera on the end (an arthroscope) is inserted via a small incision, and small surgical instruments are passed through other small incisions. Your consultant will be able to see the affected area on a screen. The space around the elbow joint will be pumped with fluid (saline) to expand the area and enable good access to remove bone fragments and damaged tissue cartilage and smooth out rough surfaces.


The small incisions are closed with absorbable stitches and dressing applied.


After Surgery

You will be able to return home shortly after surgery. A physiotherapist will see you before you leave to give you some exercises to do at home to prevent stiffness and help you achieve full range of motion in the coming weeks.


You may feel pain for the days following surgery so take pain killers as required and apply ice to help reduce swelling. Your consultant may advise you to wear a sling for at least a week following surgery to keep your arm immobilised and allow the repair to heal. 


Your consultant will assess your progress at a follow up appointment and will advise when you are able to resume your normal activities. As a guide, it is likely you will be able to drive and return to work after 2 weeks, although you will need longer if your job is manual.


Depending on your age and the extent of repair, a full recovery may take 12 to 24 weeks.


The success rate of this procedure is good, with most patients experiencing pain relief and increased range of motion after the procedure.


At One Healthcare we can book you in to see a specialist Orthopaedic surgeon for an initial consultation, usually within 48 hours.  Elbow arthroscopy procedures are available at One Ashford Hospital in Kent and One Hatfield Hospital in Hertfordshire.


You can use your private medical insurance or pay for your Elbow Debridement Surgery treatment. We offer competitive, fixed price packages. If you are using your health insurance, please contact your insurer first for approval and let them know you’d like to be treated at One Ashford Hospital

Why One Ashford Hospital

  • Access to leading Consultants within 48 hours*
  • Competitive fixed-price packages
  • Modern purpose-built hospital
  • Private, spacious, ensuite rooms
  • Specialist Physiotherapy and nursing teams
  • Little waiting time for surgery
  • Calm, dignified experience

*Dependent on Consultant availability
**Terms and conditions apply

Contact us and find out more

If you are based in and around Kent, Maidstone, Dover, Canterbury or Folkestone and would like to visit the One Ashford Hospital please click here

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