Elbow Surgery

Thomas Joseph Kovack, DO

Orthopedic Shoulder Surgeon located in Polaris, Columbus, OH

A painful elbow is going to severely limit your arm movements and your ability to lift or carry, causing significant loss of function on top of the discomfort. If you’re looking for effective relief from elbow problems, Thomas Joseph Kovack, DO, in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the leading elbow specialists in the country. Dr. Kovack is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder, elbow, and knee surgery, using advanced, minimally invasive techniques and state-of-the-art technologies to provide optimal outcomes for patients. Call Dr. Kovack today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.

Elbow Surgery Q & A

Why might I need elbow surgery?

You can damage your elbow any number of ways, and if your elbow is weak or painful, it makes it hard to do anything with the corresponding hand. While many forms of elbow injury respond well to noninvasive treatments like physical therapy, in some cases surgery is the best option.

Dr. Kovack is a leading expert in elbow surgery who can help you make the right decision when it comes to restoring function and reducing pain in your elbow. He has extensive experience in treating a variety of elbow conditions, using state-of-the-art techniques and minimally invasive surgical procedures to ensure a quicker recovery, less chance of complications, and lower medical bills.

What conditions can elbow surgery treat?

Elbow surgery can mend fractured bones, restore joint function, and repair soft tissue damage. Dr. Kovack can treat a wide variety of elbow conditions, including:

  • Ligament and tendon tears
  • Joint instability
  • Dislocation
  • Arthritis
  • Impingement
  • Synovitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Infection
  • Contracture
  • Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Nerve compression
  • Cartilage injury
  • Bone fractures

When you visit Dr. Kovack, you undergo a comprehensive exam and evaluation, including diagnostic imaging such as X-rays or a CT (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. This enables Dr. Kovack to recommend the most appropriate form of elbow surgery for your condition.

What types of elbow surgery are there?

Elbow surgeries Dr. Kovack performs regularly include:

  • Arthroscopic OK procedure for smoothing the joint
  • Ligament repair and reconstruction
  • Capsular release
  • Instability surgery
  • Tendon transfers
  • Nerve decompression
  • Medial and lateral epicondylitis surgery
  • Hemiarthroplasty or partial replacement
  • Radial head replacement
  • Elbow resurfacing
  • Total elbow replacement
  • Cartilage repair and transplant
  • Repair of humerus, ulna, and radius

After your evaluation, Dr. Kovack discusses the types of elbow surgery available, always recommending the most effective, minimally invasive options.

What is Tommy John surgery?

Tommy John surgery involves replacing the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in your elbow with tissue taken from somewhere else in your body. The UCL is a ligament that connects your humerus (upper arm bone) to your ulna, a bone in your forearm, and is a common cause of sports injuries. 

UCL injuries often require surgery, especially if you need to throw well. Surgery to repair the UCL is called Tommy John surgery after a baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers who underwent the first operation of its kind in 1974.

In addition to surgery, Dr. Kovack uses regenerative medicine techniques, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP), bone marrow aspirate, and stem cell therapies. These treatments promote healthy tissue growth and healing in damaged muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with Thomas Joseph Kovack, DO, call today or book an appointment online.

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