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Viscosupplementation for Elbow Arthritis

What is Viscosupplementation for Elbow Arthritis?

Viscosupplementation is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the injection of a hyaluronic acid preparation into the elbow joint to treat arthritis. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance which is present in the joint fluid that acts as a shock absorber and enhances lubrication.

Indications for Viscosupplementation for Elbow Arthritis

Viscosupplementation is mainly indicated to treat pain and swelling in the elbow joint caused due to arthritis that is not relieved by other conservative measures such as over-the-counter pain medications or corticosteroid injections.

Anatomy of Elbow

The elbow is a complex hinge joint that is formed by the articulation of three bones, the humerus, radius, and ulna. The humerus or the upper arm bone connects the shoulder to the elbow. The lower arm consists of two bones, the ulna, and radius. These bones connect the wrist to the elbow. The three joints of the elbow are the ulnohumeral joint, the radiohumeral joint, and the proximal radioulnar joint. The elbow is held in place with the support of soft tissues including cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and bursae.

Preparation for Viscosupplementation for Elbow Arthritis

Preparation for viscosupplementation for elbow arthritis includes:

  • Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any medications.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any medical conditions such as hypertension or diabetes and if you are taking any regular medications.
  • Wear loose clothing while coming for the procedure.

Procedure of Viscosupplementation for Elbow Arthritis

Procedure of viscosupplementation for elbow arthritis involves the following:

  • Your doctor will clean the site of the injection.
  • Local anesthesia will be injected near the elbow joint.
  • Imaging guidance may be used by your doctor to inject the targeted site.
  • Any excess fluid will be aspirated from the joint if necessary.
  • Your doctor will inject hyaluronic acid preparation into the elbow joint.
  • A bandage will then be placed on the injection site.

Post-operative Instructions for Viscosupplementation for Elbow Arthritis

Post-procedure instructions for viscosupplementation for elbow arthritis include:

  • Your doctor will advise you to apply ice to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Avoid lifting heavy weights and performing strenuous activities for a few weeks.

Risks and Complications of Viscosupplementation for Elbow Arthritis

Risks and complications of viscosupplementation for elbow arthritis include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Redness
  • Allergy reaction