Our orthopedic centre in Friedrichshafen, Germany is famous for its state-of-the-art orthopaedic surgery. Our Center for joint replacement, under the guidance of an experienced Professor of Medicine Eugene Winter, is highly specialised in modern minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical procedures (keyhole surgery), implantation of modular joint prosthetics and complicated replacement of existing prosthetics.
An elbow replacement is most often performed when the joint has been damaged in some kind of accident. Also the rheumatism leads to wearing off the joint tissue. Damage to the joint as a result of tumours can also be an indication for elbow replacement surgery.
Within the framework of our special consultation hours for shoulder and elbow surgery, a clinical examination takes place, in which your medical history, digital X-rays, MRI and computed tomography (possibly with 3-D images) play a decisive role. This is essential in order to decide on the appropriate form of therapy and for the careful, extensive endoprosthesis planning for your individual case.
In the case of irreparably damaged joints, our Joint Centre in Germany can implant an endoprosthesis, as is done with other joint replacements, e.g. knee, hip, shoulder. Options are:
Today, elbow replacement surgery presents a solution for patients with rheumatoid arthritis or extremely advanced arthritis after injuries to the joint. The prosthetics available are excellent and deliver very good results. Usually, good mobility of the joint with complete absence of pain can be achieved with this procedure.
As is the case with knee endoprosthetics, elbow prosthetics used in replacement surgery are also divided into various categories according to international norms (ISO).
The indications for uncoupled prosthetics in elbow replacement surgery are very limited. The greatest threat here lies in insufficient stability in terms of the ligaments which in turn results in a very high risk of dislocation.
In the case of rheumatic disorders of the joint, it can be presumed that the damage to the bones and ligaments is more considerable, in which case resurfacing of the joint alone is insufficient. In this case, a partially coupled prosthesis or a rigidly coupled prosthesis can be considered. Sufficient integrity of the bone to ensure long-term stability of the endoprosthesis is a prerequisite for the success of this operation. A 14 day stay in the clinic is usually required, followed by in-patient rehabilitation. After the operation, physiotherapy is necessary to restore the strength of the muscles.
A bacterial infection is a contraindication for an endoprosthesis. Such infections must first be brought under control with antibiotics or by other means before a surgical procedure can be considered. In a pre-operative consultation, the patient is thoroughly informed regarding the implantation of the endoprosthesis. For example, people who do heavy work (such as builders) will need to change their jobs or possibly begin training in another field, because the artificial joint will never be as stable as a natural healthy joint, and the amount of weight it can bear is limited.
The prognosis for this type of procedure can be described as good. In the last few decades, surgical techniques have made huge advances and modern prosthetics deliver excellent results. Elbow replacement surgery is becoming a routine orthopaedic procedure. The artificial joint has excellent mobility and a long life-span. However, lifting weights of more than 4-5kg is contraindicated as it can lead to loosening of the prosthesis. For this reason, this procedure is usually only performed in elderly patients, patients suffering from rheumatism and accident victims, and in some cases, for patients who are not likely to burden the joint very much. On making your decision about the efficient joint therapy, please, don't hesitate to call us.