For minor cases, an anti-inflammatory might be prescribed, a brace might be worn to ease the pain, or a cortisone shot might be necessary. However, in extreme cases where there is immense pain such as difficulty picking up something light, or even shaking someone’s hand, an outpatient arthroscopic procedure may be in order. This is done in a surgical setting that takes less than an hour. This surgery is known as an Elbow Arthroscopy. There is a small incision done on both the inside and outside of the arm where an arthroscope is used in order to see inside the arm to pinpoint the injury. Another small incision is made on the lateral side (outside) of the elbow, and with the use of specialized tools, the area that is partially torn is removed.
The patient can go home that day, and they are allowed to move their elbow as tolerated. Resistance or strengthening activities should be avoided for approximately four weeks. Many patients will notice pain relief a just few days after the procedure. The anticipated recovery time in returning to full strength is three to four months.