Elbow Arthroscopy

Care After

Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These instructions provide you with information on caring for yourself after your procedure. Your caregiver may also give you more specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to current medical practices, but problems sometimes occur. Call your caregiver if you have any problems or questions after your procedure.

Elbows are often swollen, stiff, and painful following surgery. The recovery time will vary with the procedure done. Splints, casts or bandages will be worn for various amounts of time. If physical therapy and exercises are prescribed by your surgeon, follow them diligently.


  • Avoid gripping or lifting heavy objects.

  • It will be normal to be sore for a couple weeks following surgery. See your caregiver if this seems to be getting worse rather than better.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • Use showers for bathing, until seen or as instructed.

  • Change dressings if necessary or as directed.

  • You may resume normal diet and activities as directed or allowed.

  • Make an appointment to see your caregiver for suture (stitches) or staple removal when instructed.

  • You may use ice for twenty minutes four times per day or as directed by your physician to speed the healing process and help with discomfort.

  • Do range of motion exercises with elbow as directed.

  • Keep your elbow elevated and wrapped to keep swelling down and to decrease pain. This also speeds healing.


  • There is redness, swelling, or increasing pain in the wound or joint.

  • Purulent drainage (pus) is coming from wound.

  • An unexplained oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C) develops.

  • You notice a foul smell coming from the wound or dressing.

  • There is a breaking open of the wound (edges not staying together) after sutures or tape has been removed.


  • You develop a rash.

  • You have difficulty breathing.

  • You develop any reaction or side effects to medications given.