Overview of Elbow Approaches: Small Incisions or Arthroscopic Portals



Surgical management of patients with elbow pathology has evolved substantially in recent years. Technical improvements in fracture care, arthritis, and other pathologic conditions have led to more predictable restoration of function and relief of pain in many patients. Along with advances in elbow surgery has come the idea of “minimally invasive” surgery in orthopedics. Patients often ask for the mini-incision hip or knee surgery, and the elbow is no different. Minimally invasive techniques potentially allow for less perioperative pain, less morbidity, and faster recovery in properly selected patients. The literature is rife with reports describing less invasive surgical techniques for managing elbow conditions, especially arthroscopic techniques.120 Although this “wave of enthusiasm” has led to a shift from traditional open techniques to arthroscopic surgery in many elbow conditions, the principles of surgical management must remain the same, i.e., the pathologic lesions must be appropriately addressed. This chapter serves as an overview of how we can transition from traditional open techniques to minimally invasive or arthroscopic techniques for many elbow problems.


Ulnar Nerve Radial Head Medial Collateral Ligament Lateral Epicondyle Medial Epicondyle 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OrthopaedicsMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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