Elbow Replacement

Elbow replacement is not as common as knee or hip replacement, however, it is just as successful in relieving joint pain and returning patients to the day to day activities that they enjoy.

An arthritic elbow is recognised by deterioration of a healthy joint cartilage. Smooth surfaces become rough and uneven ending in the joint becoming stiff and limited in range of motion. Stiff and painful elbow joints damaged by arthritis can be successfully replacement with prosthetic components to relieve pain and restore joint function.
diagram showing elbow replacement.
Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory arthritis) is a disease where the synovial membrane surrounding the joint becomes inflamed and thickened. Chronic inflammation can damage the cartilage eventually causing severe pain and disability.

Severe fractures of one or more elbow components are a common cause for elbow replacement. The elbow may be shattered and the blood supply to the limb may be jeopardised. Older patients with osteoporosis are most at risk of severe elbow fractures due to poor bone density.
Watch the Video: Elbow Joint Replacement.

Before surgery

Elbow replacement surgery is performed at Hollywood Hospital. Patients remain in hospital for five to seven days following elbow replacement surgery. The rehabilitation team at Hollywood Hospital will be involved in your rehabilitation and exercise program to regain maximum mobilisation of your new elbow.

Prior to surgery, a preoperative appointment will be scheduled for review with the Pre-Admission Clinic at Hollywood Hospital. During this meeting your personal and clinical details will be checked to allow for smooth admission process on the day of surgery. Admission on the day will be mid to late morning with surgery scheduled late afternoon that same day.

You may require an anaesthetic assessment with your Anaesthetist prior to admission. Further information will be provided upon booking your surgical procedure. We do suggest you contact the anaesthetist a week prior to surgery if you have had any of the following:
  • Head or Heart Surgery
  • Lapband Insitu
  • Blood Thinning Medication
  • Relevant Medical History.

The surgery

In preparation for an elbow replacement an incision will be made usually at the back of the elbow exposing the joint, blood vessels and muscles.

During surgery the muscles are moved aside to expose the elbow joint. Surgical tools are used to remove the scar tissue and spurs from the elbow joint. Prosthetic elbow components similar in size and shape are then cemented into the humerus and ulna. A hinge pin is then positioned as an elbow joint to connect the prosthetics. The elbow will then be wrapped in a large bandage over a drain. A volar plaster will also be applied prior to being taken to recovery.

After surgery

Following surgery, you are transferred to the recovery room where you will be monitored by nursing staff. There will be a large bulky dressing wrapped over a plaster and drains on your elbow. An ice pack may be positioned to reduce swelling. The bulky dressing and drains will be removed after a couple of days.

Rehabilitation staff from Hollywood Rehabilitation Clinic will commence a gentle exercise program the day following surgery.

Most patients remain in hospital for 3 days following elbow replacement surgery. Leading up to discharge you will be given specific exercises to continue until further review.

At home

Please phone Mr Kozak’s rooms on 9381 3084 to book a post-operative appointment for one week after your discharge from hospital. Your stitches will be removed and you will receive further post-operative instructions.

Whilst your elbow is healing you may experience pain and discomfort. This is normal. Pain relief, anti-inflammatory medication will be prescribed for you whilst in hospital. Additional medication will be given upon discharge to help settle the elbow once you leave hospital.

If you develop:
  • a temperature of over 38.5°C
  • swelling or discomfort which persists or worsens despite ice and rest and pain medicine
  • excessive bleeding numbness, tingling, redness or swelling

– please contact the office or the hospital.

Surgical Appointments

Hollywood Hospital
Monash Avenue
WA 6008

Glengarry Hospital
53 Arnisdale Road
WA 6023

Practice Details

Please Call (08) 9381 3084 for an appointment.
Fax: (08) 9381 3054
or email us

Level 2, 280 Rokeby Road
WA 6008

Sports Medicine Centre
1/64 Arnisdale Road
WA 6023

Opening Hours
Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Subiaco rooms

Duncraig rooms

  • Closeup of grandparents and grandchildren walking
  • Woman on the beach
  • yoga group exercising
  • A young woman playing tennis
  • A happy couple running outdoors
  • Male swimmer underwater in pool
Professional Affiliations: