Arthrosc Tech 2018 Oct 17;7(10):e1025-e1030. Epub 2018 Sep 17.
Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.A.
Elbow stiffness occurs as a consequence of multifactorial etiologies and can be broadly classified into either extra-articular or intra-articular contracture. Although nonoperative treatment regimens may prove successful, recalcitrant cases may require operative management. Both open and arthroscopic procedures to address these contractures have been described. Open techniques have historically been the mainstay of surgical management prior to the advent and advancement of arthroscopy. Although often successful, open elbow contracture release introduces added iatrogenic insult to the soft tissue envelope and has the potential to compromise the intraoperatively obtained gains in motion. Arthroscopic contracture release, although not without its own inherent risks, has been shown to be an effective intervention for the release of elbow capsular contractures. Arthroscopic release of the elbow capsule can be challenging, however, because of its thickness and proximity to vital neurovascular structures. The authors describe an adjunctive technique for effectively and efficiently releasing the anterior and posterior capsule under arthroscopic visualization using a 4.5-mm large metal trocar.