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Arthroscopy Works Wonders to Remove Those Loose Fragments In Your Elbow

Arthroscopy Works Wonders to Remove Those Loose Fragments In Your Elbow

An elbow injury can seem to take forever to heal, and just when you think it’s finally better, there it is: more pain. If your elbow feels like it’s grating or grinding, it could be due to loose bodies.

At The Institute for Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht evaluates elbow injuries as an experienced sports medicine doctor in San Francisco. He has pioneered and perfected the art of elbow arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgical technique that can “clean out” the elbow joint and relieve pain.

Understanding loose bodies

Your elbow is a hinge joint, and as such is more stable but less mobile than a ball and socket joint. Injuries to the elbow often result in tiny fragments of bone or other tissue being broken or torn off. These “loose bodies” float around inside the elbow, and can cause significant pain.

Symptoms of loose bodies

You might have:

Many common causes of loose bodies and elbow pain are caused by impact fractures or from overuse. For example, baseball pitchers often suffer from throwers elbow, a condition caused by loose bodies in the elbow of their dominant arm. 

Arthroscopy for loose bodies

Loose fragments floating in the elbow joint can cause more damage and reduce mobility. Think of each fragment like a piece of grit in a small gear. Slowly they chip away at the mechanism, causing it to grind and stall.

“Cleaning out” the joint via arthroscopy is a valuable approach that can not only prevent the elbow from worsening but can actually restore its functionality. An orthopedic doctor in San Francisco can diagnose the cause of your pain and inform you if arthroscopic surgery can help.

Arthroscopy has many advantages over open surgery, allowing the entire procedure to be completed through tiny punctures instead of incisions. Some patients go home with no more than a bandaid over their surgical site. 

Why choose Dr. Halbrecht as Your San Francisco Sports Medicine Surgeon?

The use of arthroscopy in the elbow wasn’t common for a long time, due to the complexity and smaller size of the joint. There are many nerves and blood vessels crammed into a small space, and surgery used to be considered fairly risky, leading most doctors to be very conservative with their approach.

Dr Halbrecht is a sports medicine surgeon in San Francisco who is also a nationally known expert on arthroscopy of the elbow. He has not only performed thousands of elbow arthroscopies, but has taught numerous courses on arthroscopic elbow surgery to other orthopedic surgeons. 

If your elbow pain isn’t responding to conservative treatment, schedule a consultation at IASM. Dr. Halbrecht can diagnose your elbow pain and let you know if arthroscopy is the best solution for you. You can get in touch by calling 415-230-3667, or book an appointment online

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