A tendon is required for this operation. It can be taken from the knee or wrist or donor tissue used (allograft).
A cut is made on the outside of the elbow to allow access to the bones. Drill holes are made in the bones and the tendon passed in such a fashion to recreate the old lateral ligament complex of the elbow. This is secured in place, ensuring that the arm maintains a full range of movement.
After the wounds are closed, the elbow is placed in a splint with the hand facing down wards (in pronation). Over the next six weeks, the amount of movement allowed is increased and the arm is kept in a protective brace.
The results of the surgery are very reliable at restoring stability of the elbow but a small number of patients do have ongoing pain, loss of motion or subtle symptoms of instability after their surgery. Almost all patients are noticeably better than they were before the operation. Recovery can take up to one year to be complete.