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What is involved in recovering from elbow surgery?

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Quick Answer

Recovery from elbow surgery general includes a resting the elbow, wearing a splint, and doing rehabilitation exercises, says WebMD. The recovery time depends on the type of surgery.

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Surgery to repair an elbow ligament requires up to two years for recover with plenty of rehabilitation, explains WebMD. Immediately after surgery, the patient wears a splint for up to 10 days and a range-of-motion brace for several weeks. However, the patient needs to do range-of-motion exercises for the hand, wrist and shoulder regularly to strengthen these parts of the arm. After six weeks, the patient can include the elbow in the rehabilitation exercises, although strenuous activities on the elbow need to be avoided. By the fourth or fifth month after surgery, the patient can start doing some of the usual activities.

Because this surgery so often involves athletes such as pitchers, the patient can start throwing a ball again after at least four months, states WebMD. However, wind-up motions can't be included until after at least six months.

If the elbow surgery is to repair a tendon, recovery takes between three and six months, according to WebMD. However, recovery time varies depending on the patient and his dedication to the rehabilitation exercises.

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