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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Joint surgery

Question: Elbow surgery and rehab....

 Dontknow - Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:46 am

I had elbow surgery about two years ago on my left elbow and have a 4 inch screw in my funny bone and my upper arm bone. i went to rehab for about 6 or 7 months and also used a crank brace while in rehab. i cant extend my elbow but about 3/4 of the way out and can only bend it just barely past 90 degrees,,,not good range of motion in my opinion. I was wondering if there was anything else i could do that could help improve my range of motion. any suggestions or comments will be appreciated. thanx
 DeLWolcott - Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:37 am

I would recommend a follow-up visit with your physician who performed the surgery or the rehabilitation physician, whichever physician prescribed the physical therapy. Either should be able to decide if more physical therapy is needed or if other options should be contemplated.

Until then, keep doing the exercises they sent you home with. Good luck!
 sinnertonr - Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:43 am

Assuming the joint is in good condition then it is possible to do an arthrolysis of the joint - freeing up all the tight tissues around it - to try and regain a functional range of motion. What you need in an elbow is enough bend to get the hand to the mouth and to be able to turn your hand so the palm points upwards and anything else is a bonus! The problem with the elbow is it hates being operated on and hates rehab/physio and has a great inbuilt tendancy to stiffen up. So you could end up with the same range of movement but in a different part of the arc (nb arm out strainght is called 180 degrees, the rightangle is 90 degrees and any bend is less than 90).

Its a difficult decision to make to try and release an elbow and afterwards you will need to be splinted in a hinged brace for 6 weeks or longer.

Good luck.

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