Arthroscopic Arthrolysis of the Elbow: How I Do It!

  • Francois M. KelberineEmail author


Stiffness is a frequent onset of elbow pathology. In cases of loss of motion related to intra-articular causing factors, arthrolysis can be performed arthroscopically. Evolving loss of motion is a contraindication. The goals are to remove blocking factors and release checkreins. An arthro-CT scan is the best imaging to analyze the envelope and the content of the joint.

It is a difficult technique, which needs a learning curve especially in the anterior compartment. But it can be standardized. Starting posteriorly is safer and easier in the author’s opinion. Some guidelines are important to avoid any damages to the structures at risk, especially the ulnar and radial nerves. A fenestration is made with a drill from anterior to posterior. Capsulotomy is the last procedure done to avoid collapse of the working space and to limit extraarticular effusion.

The results for the same indication are similar to classical open techniques with less postoperative risks.


Elbow Stiffness Arthrolysis Arthroscopy Trauma 

Supplementary material

Video 22.1

Posterior synovectomy and loose body excision to enlarge posterior working space (MP4 39053 kb)

Video 22.2

Olecranon spur resection (MP4 48975 kb)

Video 22.3

Medial gutter spur resection (MP4 78552 kb)

Video 22.4

Anterior access through the fenestration and then anterior coronoid debridement (MP4 46218 kb)

Video 22.5

Anterior capsulotomy (MP4 85471 kb)


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Copyright information

© ISAKOS 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PACAS (Pôle Aixois de Chirurgie Articulaire et Sportive), Private Hospital of ProvenceAix en ProvenceFrance

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