Elbow Replacement Lasts Longer, but Isnt for Everyone

Despite advances in surgical procedures, elbow replacement is still recommended for only the most severe degenerative problems.

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Joint-replacement surgery comes with no guarantees. Doctors cannot promise that your new hip or knee will last you the rest of your life. And its no different for elbow arthroplasty, or total elbow-replacement surgery, says Jeffrey Lawton, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic. But doctors have made great strides in replacement surgery in recent years, and while they still cant make guarantees, they do say the longevity of replacements is improving. Patients today, Dr. Lawton says, can expect their new elbow joint to last longer than those used in the past, when elbow replacements tended to wear out after only five to seven years. Thanks to advances in materials and design, patients now can expect their new elbows to last at least a decade.
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