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After Elbow Arthroscopy

After surgery, your joint may be swollen, painful, and stiff. Recovery times vary, depending on what was done. With bone removal, you may be told to bend and straighten your arm soon after surgery. This will help restore normal movement. With osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) repair, recovery takes longer. Your surgeon will tell you when to resume activity.

Man sitting at table with elbow resting on table. He is straightening arm flat on table, then bending it up.
You may be told to bend and straighten your arm a few times each day.

At Home

Follow your surgeon’s guidelines for healing:

  • Elevate and ice your elbow to reduce swelling.

  • Keep your elbow compressed in a sling, bandage, or splint.

  • When you shower, cover your elbow with plastic to keep it dry.

  • Take pain medication as directed.

Pencil marking check in box.

The checklist below helps remind you what to do after arthroscopy.

Checkbox. Schedule your first follow-up visit for 5 days after surgery or as directed.

Checkbox. Take care of your incision and bathe as directed.

Checkbox. Complete your physical therapy program.

Checkbox. You can do these activities right away:

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Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 5/15/2011
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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