Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons October 2008, Volume 16, Issue 10 Christopher C. Dodson, MD, Shane J. Nho, MD, Riley J. Williams, III, MD and David W. Altchek, MD
Arthroscopy of the elbow was originally considered to be an unsafe procedure because of the small size of the elbow joint capsule and its proximity to several crucial neurovascular structures. Over the past decade, however, the procedure has become safer and more effective. These improvements can be attributed to a better understanding of elbow anatomy and of the disorders about the elbow as well as to advances in arthroscopic equipment and surgical technique. The most common indications for elbow arthroscopy include removal of loose bodies, synovectomy, débridement and/or excision of osteophytes, capsular release, and the assessment and treatment of osteochondritis dissecans. More recent advances have expanded the indications of elbow arthroscopy to include fracture management (eg, radial head fractures) and the treatment of lateral epicondylitis.