Total Elbow Replacement
You finally had your elbow replacement surgery, your surgeon must have done a fine job. However, this is no guarantee that you’ll be able to use your elbow as you did before. Physical therapy is important for complete recovery, strength, and a full range of motion once your elbow begins to heal. Our physical therapists are excited to help you achieve this in the shortest time possible. Contact us today and request an appointment with one of our physical therapists.
What is Total Elbow Replacement Surgery?
Elbow replacement occurs when the damaged parts of the ulna and humerus are replaced with artificial parts. The artificial elbow joint is now made of metal and plastic hinges with two metal stems. There is also partial elbow replacement. Here the total elbow joint is not replaced, only damaged parts.
Know Your Elbow 
Your elbow is made up of three bones. Your humerus bone (upper arm bone), and your radius and ulna (two bones in your forearm). At the surfaces of the bone where they meet to form the elbow, there is something called articular cartilage. This protects the bones and enables them to move easily. The synovial membrane, which is a smooth tissue covers all the remaining surfaces within the elbow joint. This membrane makes fluid that lubricates the cartilage and prevents friction between bones as you use your elbow Then, the ligaments, tendons, and muscles hold the elbow joint together
Causes Of  Elbow Replacement
Conditions that would make a patient have a replacement include:

Osteoarthritis

This form of arthritis is common in persons from 50 years of age. It can also occur in younger people. What happens is that the cartilage that keeps the bones in the elbow from rubbing against each other wears away

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This happens when your immune system attacks your joints. The synovial membrane covering the joints becomes inflamed. This can damage the cartilage and lead to stiffness and pain in the elbow.

Post-traumatic Arthritis

This begins to develop after a wrist injury, where fractures and tears may damage the cartilage. This causes pain in the elbow

Elbow Instability

The elbow may become unstable when the ligaments and muscles that hold the joint together becomes damage. Elbow dislocation can also cause instability. Elbow dislocation is usually caused by an injury to the elbow

Broken bones and severe fractures

This is a very common reason for elbow replacement. if your elbow bone gets badly broken or fractured, then a shoulder replacement surgery is required. The elbow may be shattered and the supply of blood to the bones interrupted, or fractures to the elbow did not heal properly. A replacement is necessary to bring back function and mobility to the elbow.

Before and During Surgery for Elbow Replacement
Before the surgery, a complete physical examination will be carried out to ensure you are in good health, and that replacement is actually what you need. Once you and your surgeon have made the decision for elbow replacement, then it’s time to go prepare for your surgery. You’ll have to stop taking pain medication, arthritis medications, or pain killers two-weeks before the surgery as these could cause excessive bleeding. It is important to make changes to your home and have someone t support you after surgery. This is because you won’t be able to use your elbow as much. A general anesthetic will be given to you to keep you asleep or sedated during the procedure which will only take few hours. After the surgery, you’ll stay in the hospital for 2-4 days before you’ll be discharged.
Recovery for Elbow Replacement Surgery
After the surgery, be ready to feel some pain, this is normal for a while. Your doctor may prescribe pain killers for a period to help with the pain. Once your pain begins to subside, stop taking the meds. Post-operative rehabilitation is very crucial after surgery. This guarantees that your elbow heals faster, and is restored to its normal functioning. Polygon PT offers post-operative rehab for elbow replacement surgery. Through therapeutic exercises, our physical therapy will relieve your elbow completely of pain, and restore mobility. Don’t rush the recovery process, it will take a couple of months for complete recovery
Get Started on Physical Therapy and Rehab for Elbow Replacement Today
For quick and complete recovery to your elbow, well-structured rehab treatment is essential. Contact a physical therapist today at Polygon PT to get started. Bring strength and motion back to your elbow!