Your elbow enables you to extend, flex, rotate, and bend your forearm with ease. It comprises of three main bones, the radius (around the thumb), the ulna (near the pinky finger), and humerus (upper arm). The surfaces where these three bones meet to create a joint is covered with a cartilage, which is a smooth surface protecting the bones by forming a cushion to prevent any sudden shocks or forces. A smooth and thin tissue cover the rest of the surface in the joint.
When an elbow is healthy, this surface secretes a fluid which lubricates the cartilage to prevent most of the friction as the arm is being used. This isn’t possible when the cartilage or the joint gets damaged or injured. The movement of the elbow can get painful or even impossible in such a case, but it can be treated through elbow surgery.
While this surgery has a higher chance of success than other surgeries, elbow surgery complications might occur that could result in a malpractice case. For elbow surgery medical malpractice cases, an Elbow Surgery Expert Witness is typically hired by the lawyer to read the medical records and validate the case.
Dr. Scott Powell is an expert orthopedic surgeon with 30+ years of practical surgery experience. He has completed over 15,000 orthopedic surgeries in his career and can provide an accurate and timely orthopedic surgeon expert witness evaluation on sports related injuries and orthopedic medical malpractice cases.
What is an Elbow Arthroscopy?
In an elbow arthroscopy, small cuts are made to insert the camera in the elbow joint. The camera shows images on a screen so that the surgeon can find and examine the cause of injury and treat it. The surgeon uses thin instruments to conduct the surgery which is why there is no need for larger cuts that are usually required for open surgery.
The elbow arthroscopy is needed in case of overuse, injury, or the wear and tear caused by age or vigorous activity. This surgery helps in relieving the symptoms of numerous issues that damage the surface of the cartilage and the surrounding tissues. It is also done to remove any loose pieces of cartilage and bone or the release of scar tissue which may be blocking the movement.
The most common procedures include:
- Tennis elbow treatment
- Loose bodies removal, including bone fragments and loose cartilage
- Scar tissue release to enhance movement
- Osteoarthritis treatment
- Rheumatoid arthritis treatment
- Osteochondritis dissecans treatment
Elbow surgery recovery time vary from person to person, but is quicker than open surgery recovery. It might take a few weeks to completely recover from the surgery. Slight discomfort and pain are normal for around two weeks of surgery.
In case of extensive surgery, it might take more weeks for the pain to subside. Physical therapy is needed for full restoration of elbow movement.
History of Elbow Arthroscopy Malpractice Cases
While the majority of patients don’t experience any complications after the surgery, it still has associated risks just like other types of surgeries. The potential problems after elbow surgery include damage to nerves or blood vessels, blood clots, excessive bleeding, or infections.
Why Do You Need Elbow Surgery Expert Witness?
An Elbow Surgery Expert Witness can play a vital role in a malpractice case. It is a crucial to have an experienced, honest orthopedic surgeon your expert witness.
With 30+ years of practical orthopedic surgery under his belt, Dr. Powell is well aware of the issues and common risks that arise in an elbow arthroscopy. He can offer Elbow Surgery Expert Witness medical case reviews and guidance that can prove vital in the verdict of an orthopedic malpractice case.
Elbow Arthroscopy FAQs
The elbow arthroscopy surgery typically takes 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the injury and treatment.
Elbow arthroscopy is more beneficial because:
- Little to no chances of triggering other medical issues
- Improved elbow motion preservation
- Reduced chances of infection
- Quicker healing
- Lesser pain
- No scarring
- Minimal trauma
- Downtime is less
- Recover is faster
- Incisions or cuts are smaller
- It is minimally invasive
After an elbow arthroscopy, it takes time to regain the flexibility, strength, and range of motion. Therefore, elbow arthroscopy recovery includes regular physical therapy session to escalate the healing and ensure you regain the full range of motion.