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State of the Art
Elbow arthroscopy: state of the art
  1. Luigi A Pederzini1,
  2. Felice Di Palma1,
  3. Marc R Safran2,
  4. Gregory I Bain3
  1. 1 Department of Orthopaedic and Arthroscopic, New Sassuolo Hospital, Sassuolo, Modena, Italy
  2. 2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University Medical Center, Redwood City, California, USA
  3. 3 Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma, University of Adelaide, North Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Felice Di Palma, Orthopaedic and Arthroscopic Department, New Sassuolo Hospital, Sassuolo, Modena 41049, Italy; felice.dipalma{at}


Due to the minimally invasive nature of arthroscopic surgery, patients recover more quickly and are able to initiate rehabilitation and functional activities sooner than with open approaches. Elbow arthroscopy had initially been considered a tool for loose body removal and diagnostic purposes only. However, as a better understanding of elbow anatomy and pathology has evolved, coincident with better instrumentation, elbow arthroscopy is now being used for an increasing list of indications. Current indications for elbow arthroscopy have expanded to include loose bodies removal, and the treatment of degenerative arthritis, septic arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, lateral epicondylitis, osteochondritis dissecans, synovitis, radial head deformity, post-traumatic arthrofibrosis, posterolateral rotatory instability, posteromedial impingement and plica, in addition to the management of some elbow fractures, including fractures of the capitellum, coronoid and radial head. Elbow arthroscopy does have limitations and particular surgical risks; however, these can be minimised. Elbow arthroscopy can be performed safely with appropriate knowledge of the articular and periarticular anatomy, in addition to precise surgical technique and understanding the limitations of elbow arthroscopy as well as the limitations of the experience of the surgeon.

  • elbow
  • arthroscopy
  • endoscopy
  • instability
  • stiff joints
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  • Contributors All four authors contributed to writing and reviewing the article and providing the tables and figures their final content.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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