Elbow operation?

My consultant has recommended an operation to clean out my elbow joint because I have restricted movement and a lot of pain. He first suggested a replacement but I don't want to go down that route too soon - hoping to live longer than a new elbow would last.

Has anyone had experience of an elbow debridement? Or a new joint?

I'm keen to make ny own decision on this one.


4 Replies

Hi Susan

I'm in the same position but i'm going to try steroid injections on the 22nd to see if these help before discussing surgery.From what my rhuemy says a debridement would be offered if the jabs don't work.I think the way my elbows are at the moment i'd give it a shot-the pain is so restrictive and it really gets me down so i know how you feel .

Let me know how you get on(so i know what to expect!!!)

Take care

Julie xx


Hi Julie

Thanks for the response. I have had injections in both elwbows 3 times in the past 10 years. The first 2 helped but the ones I had 18 months ago made no difference at all - the right one has been the worst throughout.. I had an MRI scan last week, which was a strange experience but okay if I kept my eyes closed (that's another story) so the consultant is waiting for the result of that to make his fiinal decision. I believe replacement elbows only last about 10 years and I'm hoping to live for at least 20 more - hence the hesitation.

I hope the injections make a positive difference for you.



Hi Susan

I have had numerous relacements (hips/knees) and several fusions (wrist/feet) and I am now only 32 - the surgeries have always worked really well for me... The way i see it is Yes the replacements do have a short (ish) life span but that in 10-20 years the Docs will have developed their options so much more (20 yrs ago knee replacements were a hinge and elbow/ankle replacements didn't exist), so if they would improve your quality of life now, do it, and worry about 10-20 years then. If you feel however that you can go on with your natural joint, keep going ;-)



Hi Ella

Thank you for your response. Sorry to hear your RA has led to so many procedures already - you make me feel fortunate to just be starting surgery after 13 years of the disease.

Ironically my natural joint has caused less pain since I saw the surgeon than it has in the past 2 years, but it isn't any more mobile.

I am 52 so I shouldn't really feel I have to hold back and tolerate the pain, do I?

I hope you don't have to have too many more procedures yourself.

Thanks for the encouragement.



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