UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Orthopedics

Title: Medial elbow pain and the ulnar collateral ligament

Keywords: Elbow, ligament, throwing athlete (PubMed Search)

Posted: 11/28/2015 by Brian Corwell, MD
Click here to contact Brian Corwell, MD

Medial elbow pain is common among baseball pitchers and is also seen in other sports including football, javelin and gymnasts.

More than 97% of elbow pain in pitchers is located medially.

The ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow is an important structure in these patients.

While initially primarily seen in professional throwers, these injuries are now being seen in younger athletes.

Initially, patients may only note changes in stamina or strength of throws.

Later, they will note pain during the acceleration and follow through-phase of throwing

The Valgus stress test for UCL deficiency is similar to the valgus test for the knee

Treatment: splinting, ice, NSAIDs

Surgical indications: Failure of non-operative treatment with desire to return to same or higher level competition.