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Know Your Options for Elbow Surgery


Elbow surgery is performed by Dignity Health's Bay Area orthopedic surgeons and some hand surgeons. Common procedures include tendon repair, elbow resurfacing, elbow replacement, and elbow arthroscopy. 

The orthopedic experts at Dignity Health's four Bay Area hospitals understand the effect pain can have on your quality of life. Our goal is to get you back to your healthy life as soon as possible. Our  orthopedic and sports medicine specialists have served the needs of active and young adults, nonprofessional and professional athletes, and performers for more than 35 years.

If you need elbow surgery in the Bay Area, call 888.653.1839 or Find a Doctor online with the experience you trust.

When is Elbow Surgery Necessary?

Elbow surgery is used to treat elbow pain, stiffness, or swelling caused by:  

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis that does not respond to other treatments 
  • Dislocations that cause damage to ligaments or other joint structures or recur frequently
  • Fractures that are complex or not easily stabilized without surgery
  • Hyperextension when there is ligament damage or the joint is unstable
  • Loose cartilage or bone fragments within the joint space
  • Tendonitis that does not respond to other treatments

Minimally Invasive Elbow Surgery at Dignity Health in the Bay Area

Elbow surgery takes place in one of Dignity Health's Bay Area hospitals. For some people, a minimally invasive procedure may be an option. In general, minimally invasive surgeries involve less pain, a faster recovery, a lower risk of complications, and smaller incisions than open surgery. 

Possible complications of elbow surgery include:

  • Blood vessel or nerve damage
  • Elbow stiffness 
  • For elbow replacement, wear and tear of the new elbow joint
  • Pain that does not get better or returns 
  • Persistent symptoms

Any surgery includes the risk of reactions to anesthesia, blood clots, infections, and bleeding.

Recovery after Elbow Surgery

Depending on your specific type of surgery and overall health, you may need to spend some time recovering in a Dignity Health hospital in the Bay Area before you can go home. However, if you have an outpatient procedure, you will go home the same day. Full recovery can take several weeks to months, depending on why you had surgery. Your doctor may recommend limitations on future activities. Physical therapy may help speed your recovery.

In most cases, elbow surgery reduces symptoms and improves joint function. Talk with your doctor about your goals for surgery and what you should expect during recovery. 

Dignity Health surgeons perform traditional and minimally invasive elbow surgery in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.