It is strongly recommended to discontinue smoking prior to the surgery. The patient also needs to address any infections and control any other medical problems that he may be suffering from.
The surgeon must be informed of all the existing health issues including allergies, use of prescription and non-prescription medications, alcohol consumption or taking any vitamins or other supplements or any other herbal or homeopathic medicine.
The surgery takes nearly two hours. It is performed under general or nerve block anesthesia. Once the surgeon implants the joint, the wound is closed with stitches and then covered with a bandage.
The arm is usually kept in a splint to keep it stable. Elbow replacement involves cutting skin, tendons, and bone, and so you will be given strong pain medications for one to two weeks after the surgery is done.
You should be prepared to be less functional than usual for six to 12 weeks after elbow replacement.